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J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Dec;24(12):1852-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2009.05912.x.

Propranolol reduces variceal pressure and wall tension in schistosomiasis presinusoidal portal hypertension.

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Department of Gastroenterology, University of São Paulo School of Medicine, Brazil.



Although prophylaxis with beta-blockers has been shown to decrease variceal pressure and wall tension in cirrhotic patients, this has not been demonstrated in non-cirrhotic portal hypertension caused by Schistosoma mansoni infection.


Thirteen patients without history of previous gastrointestinal bleeding were included. All of them had high-risk esophageal varices at endoscopy. An endoscopic gauge and a high-frequency endoscopic ultrasonography miniprobe were used to assess transmural variceal pressure and wall tension before and after achieving beta-blockade with propranolol.


Baseline variceal pressure decreased from 13.3 +/- 3.5 to 8.2 +/- 2.0 mmHg (P < 0.0001) and wall tension from 500.2 +/- 279.8 to 274.0 +/- 108.3 The overall effect of propranolol on decreasing variceal pressure and wall tension expressed in percentage change in relation to baseline values was 35.7 +/- 18.4% and 35.9 +/- 26.7%, respectively (P = 0.9993).


Propranolol significantly reduced variceal pressure and wall tension in schistosomiasis.

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