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Kurume Med J. 2014;60(3-4):105-13. Epub 2014 May 26.

Balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration versus endoscopic injection sclerotherapy for isolated gastric varices: a comparative study.

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Department of Medicine, Kurume University School of Medicine.


Isolated gastric varices (IGV) have a lower risk of bleeding than esophageal varices, however IGV bleeding is associated with a higher mortality than bleeding of esophageal varices. In recent years, two widely used treatments for IGV have been balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration (B-RTO) and endoscopic injection sclerotherapy (EIS) using cyanoacrylate or ethanolamine oleate (EO). This study compared these two treatment methods for IGV. The subjects were 112 patients who were treated at our hospital for IGV bleeding between October 1990 and December 2003. Forty-nine (49) patients were treated with B-RTO and 63 patients with EIS. These two patient groups were compared as regards content of treatment, post-treatment incidence of variceal bleeding, incidence of IGV rebleeding, survival rate, cause of death, and complications. Multivariate analysis was performed on post-treatment variceal bleeding and survival. Although EO was used in higher amounts in the B-RTO group than in the EIS group, the B-RTO group had a significantly lower number of treatment sessions and a significantly shorter treatment period (p<0.05). The EIS group had significantly more patients with IGV rebleeding after treatment than the B-RTO group. Treatment method was the only independent prognostic factor of IGV bleeding after treatment (p=0.024). The two groups did not differ significantly in the percentage of patients with aggravated esophageal varices after treatment. Bleeding from ectopic varices was not observed in any patient. There was no significant difference in survival by treatment method. The presence of hepatocellular carcinoma was the only independent prognostic factor for survival (p=0.003). It is concluded that B-RTO was more effective than EIS in the eradication of IGV and prevention of IGV recurrence and rebleeding.

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