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J Hepatol. 1994 Jul;21(1):81-7.

Prevention of rebleeding from oesophageal varices: two-year follow up of a prospective controlled trial of propranolol in addition to sclerotherapy.

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Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham.


A prospective randomised trial comparing propranolol and sclerotherapy to sclerotherapy alone was conducted over a 2-year follow up in a district hospital setting of unselected patients. Rebleeding and survival were analysed. Thirty-nine patients were randomised to propranolol plus sclerotherapy and 34 to sclerotherapy alone. The two groups were clinically comparable. There was no significant difference in the cumulative percent of patients free of rebleeding; 54% of the sclerotherapy group rebled compared to 52% of the group treated with propranolol plus sclerotherapy (Hazard ratio 1.09 (0.54-2.22) and p = 0.81, NS). Two-year actuarial survival was also not significantly different, with 77% of the propanolol plus sclerotherapy group surviving, compared to 74% of sclerotherapy alone (Hazard ratio 1.08 (0.35-2.22) and p = 0.79, NS). The mean time to eradication of varices was not significantly different between the two groups (propranolol plus sclerotherapy 222 days, sclerotherapy alone 243 days), nor did the rate of variceal recurrence differ (72.7 vs 72 days). This study did not show long-term improvement in rebleeding or survival using propranolol in addition to a regular sclerotherapy programme.

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