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J Hepatol. 1997 Apr;26(4):826-32.

Prospective randomized trial of endoscopic sclerotherapy versus variceal band ligation for esophageal varices: influence on gastropathy, gastric varices and variceal recurrence.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, G.B. Pant Hospital, New Delhi, India.



Endoscopic variceal ligation and endoscopic sclerotherapy are both recommended for the prevention of variceal rebleeding. To compare their efficacy, their influence on gastric varices and the development of portal gastropathy, 95 patients with variceal bleeding were studied.


The patients were randomized to receive weekly endoscopic sclerotherapy using alcohol (n=48) or endoscopic variceal ligation (n=47). The endoscopic sclerotherapy and endoscopic variceal ligation groups were comparable in etiology, severity of liver disease and grade of varices.


In the arrest of acute bleed, endoscopic sclerotherapy and endoscopic variceal ligation were comparable (86% vs. 80%, p=ns). Endoscopic variceal ligation as compared to endoscopic sclerotherapy, obliterated esophageal varices in fewer sessions (4.1+/-1.2 vs. 5.2+/-1.8, p<0.01) and a shorter time (4.4+/-1.3 vs. 6.9+/-3.4 wk, p<0.01). Three (6.4%) patients bled after endoscopic variceal ligation and 10 (20.8%) after endoscopic sclerotherapy (p<0.05). The actuarial percentage of variceal recurrence during a follow-up of 8.5+/-4.4 months, was higher after endoscopic variceal ligation than endoscopic sclerotherapy (28.7% vs 7.5%, p<0.05). Esophageal stricture formation after endoscopic sclerotherapy occurred in five (10.4%) patients, but in none after endoscopic variceal ligation. Significantly more patients developed gastropathy after endoscopic sclerotherapy than ligation (20.5% vs. 2.3%; p=0.02). Endoscopic sclerotherapy (52%) and endoscopic variceal ligation (59%) were equally effective in obliterating the lesser curve gastric varices. Six patients died: three in each group.


(i) Endoscopic sclerotherapy and endoscopic variceal ligation were equally effective in controlling acute bleed; (ii) endoscopic ligation achieved variceal obliteration faster and in fewer treatment sessions; (iii) endoscopic variceal ligation had a significantly lower rate of development of portal gastropathy and rebleeding, (iv) while both techniques influenced gastric varices equally, there was significantly higher esophageal variceal recurrence after endoscopic variceal ligation than sclerotherapy.

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