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Portosystemic shunts compared with sclerotherapy/banding lowers variceal rebleeding, but increases hepatic encephalopathy

A third of deaths from cirrhosis are due to variceal bleeding. Randomised clinical trials have compared three types of portosystemic shunting separately against endoscopic therapy. The shunts included in these trials have been total portocaval shunts, distal splenorenal shunts, and transjugular intrahepatic portocaval shunts. The authors found that when compared to endoscopic therapy all three types of shunt lowered the rate of rebleeding at the cost of a higher incidence of hepatic encephalopathy, without any statistically significant difference in survival.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

Acute Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding: Management

The incidence of acute upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage in the United Kingdom ranges between 84–172 /100,000/year, equating to 50–70,000 hospital admissions per year. This is therefore a relatively common medical emergency; it is also one that more often affects socially deprived communities.

NICE Clinical Guidelines - National Clinical Guideline Centre (UK).

Version: June 2012
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