Oesophageal varices in patients with liver cirrhosis attending a major tertiary hospital in Ghana
The Pan African Medical Journal
oesophageal variceal bleeding is a potentially fatal consequence of portal hypertension in cirrhotic patients. In Ghana, bleeding oesophageal varices (OV) are a significant cause of acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding with comparatively high mortality. This study was to determine the prevalence of OV and its clinical correlate in cirrhotic patients. Methods: this was a cross sectional hospital based study of 149 subjects with liver cirrhosis from 5 th November, 2015 to 4 th November, 2016.
... November, 2016. Demographic and other clinical data were collected using standardized questionnaire. Liver function, full blood count, HBsAg and anti-HCV Ab tests were done for all patients. All patients underwent an abdominal ultrasound to assess liver and document ascites. Upper GI endoscopy (UGIE) was done to screen for and grade varices. Results: a total of 149 patients with a mean age of 45 ± 12.28 years were evaluated. There were 77.85% and 22.15% men and women respectively, with a male to female ratio of 3.5:1. By Child-Pugh Classification, 12 (8.16%) patients were in class A, 64 (43.54%) in class B and 71 (48.3%) in class C at presentation. On UGIE, 135 (90.60%) had varices and 14 patients (9.40%) had no varices. One hundred and eleven of the varices (82.22%) were large varices and the rest (17.78%) small varices. Conclusion: majority of cirrhotic patients present late with advance disease to this referral centre. Most have large varices on their first screening endoscopy. Prophylactic treatment should be considered for all cirrhotics especially patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis when UGIE cannot be done immediately.