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Hepatogastroenterology. 2006 Jul-Aug;53(70):552-7.

Primary prophylaxis of variceal bleeding in cirrhotics awaiting liver transplantation.

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  • 1Center of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Fundeni Clinical Institute, Bucharest, Romania.



To evaluate the efficacy and safety of prophylactic band ligation and propranolol versus propranolol alone for the primary prophylaxis of variceal bleeding in patients with high-risk esophageal varices listed for liver transplantation.


Out of 152 cirrhotic patients included on the waiting list between January 2001 and January 2003, high-risk esophageal varices were detected in 72. These patients were randomized to undergo combined therapy or propranolol monotherapy. The actuarial probabilities of bleeding from esophageal varices and bleeding-related death were calculated by Kaplan-Meier method and compared using the log-rank test.


Variceal eradication was achieved in 33 patients (91.6%) in 2.5 +/- 1.4 ligation sessions. The mean daily dose of propranolol was 72 +/- 25mg in the propranolol group and 68 +/- 21 mg in the ligation group. Six percent of patients in the ligation group and 31% in the propranolol group had one episode of bleeding during the 18 months of follow-up (p = 0.03). The actuarial probabilities of bleeding-free survival after 18 months of follow-up, in the ligation and monotherapy groups were 96% and, respectively, 69% (p = 0.04).


Endoscopic band ligation associated with propranolol significantly reduces the occurrence of the first episode of variceal bleeding and improves bleeding-related survival in cirrhotics included on the waiting list.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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