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Surg Endosc. 1989;3(2):73-8.

Technique and early clinical results of endoscopic variceal ligation (EVL).

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Department of Surgery (Gastrointestinal/Tumor), University of Colorado, Denver.


Endoscopic variceal ligation (EVL) is a new technique designed to be used instead of sclerotherapy. Small elastic "O" rings ligate varices resulting in their strangulation and eradication. During a 12-month period, EVL was employed in 53 consecutive patients, of whom 36 (68%) had alcoholic cirrhosis 17 were Child-Pugh class A, 22 class B, and 14 class C. Varices were graded from I to IV and repeat treatments were given at 1-2 week intervals until the varices were eliminated. At follow-up ranging from 6-18 months (mean 11.5), 217 EVL treatment sessions had been performed. Of the 13 patients (24%) who died during the study, 11 died during the index hospitalization. Active bleeding was controlled in 19 of 21 patients (90%). Of 40 survivors 13 patients (33%) had 1-2 (mean 1.4) recurrent variceal bleeds while 34 patients had repeat EVL treatment. Elimination of distal varices was achieved in 26 and 7 had reduction of varices from grade III-IV to grade I-II or less. Eradication required a mean of 4.4 EVL sessions in Child's A and B patients and 7.0 sessions in Child's C patients (P less than 0.025). No significant treatment-related complications were observed. EVL appears to control active bleeding, is associated with a low incidence of non-bleeding complications, and may be used as an alternative to sclerotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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