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Gastroenterol Clin Biol. 1985 Oct;9(10):670-3.

[How many cirrhotic patients may receive propranolol after digestive hemorrhage?].

[Article in French]


The aim of the present study was to evaluate how many cirrhotics may receive propranolol after upper gastrointestinal bleeding. One hundred and twelve patients were consecutively admitted in a digestive intensive care unit during a two-year study, for bleeding of esophageal (63 p. 100) or gastric (4 p. 100) varices, or acute gastric erosions (33 p. 100). Twenty-one per cent of patients were initially class A (Child's classification). 26 p. 100 were B, and 53 p. 100 were C. Eighteen patients (16 p. 100) died within the first 10 days. Eighty patients (71 p. 100) did not receive propranolol because of: a) contraindication for this drug (asthma, heart failure, diabetes, n = 25); b) carcinoma, mainly of the liver (n = 11); c) foreseeable lack of compliance with the treatment (n = 8); d) criteria for which the efficacy of propranolol has not been demonstrated (small esophageal varices, jaundice, or ascites, n = 36). Only 14 patients (13 p. 100) received propranolol therapy: 5 stopped their treatment, 3 because of gastrointestinal rebleeding. Our experience suggests that propranolol can be used only in a few cirrhotics for prevention of recurrent gastrointestinal bleeding.

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