Endoscopic band ligation versus propranolol for the primary prophylaxis of variceal bleeding in cirrhotic patients with high risk esophageal varices

Rosa María Pérez-Ayuso, Sebastián Valderrama, Manuel Espinoza, Antonio Rollán, René Sánchez, Francisco Otarola, Brenda Medina, Arnoldo Riquelme
Annals of Hepatology  
Gastroesophageal variceal bleeding is a common complication of portal hypertension. Current guidelines recommend thorn-blockers for primary prophylaxis. However, evidence suggests that endoscopic variceal ligation (EVL) reduce bleeding episodes. To compare endoscopic EVL with propranolol (PPL) for primary prophylaxis of variceal bleeding. We conducted a randomized controlled trial. Over a 9-year period, 75 patients with cirrhosis and high-risk esophageal varices (HREV) were recruited and
more » ... ed to EVL (n=39) or PPL (n=36). Primary outcome was variceal bleeding. Secondary outcomes were survival, source of bleeding and serious adverse events. Analyses were made by intention-to-treat. Baseline characteristics were similar. Medium follow-up was 1647+/-1096 days. complete follow-up was achieved in 85% of patients. Variceal bleeding occurred in 12% of EVL and in 25% of PPL group (p=0.17). The actuarial risks of bleeding after 2 years were similar in both groups. Overall mortality was 51% in EVL and 33% in PPL group (p=0.17). Patients in the EVL group showed a lower rate of esophageal variceal bleeding (5.1% v/s 25%, p=0.027) and a higher rate of subcardial variceal bleeding compared with PPL group (7.7% v/s 0%, p=0.027). Serious adverse events related to EVL occurred in 2 patients, including 1 death. The present study supports that PPL should be considered the first choice in primary prophylaxis of variceal bleeding offering similar effects and lower severe adverse events compared with EVL.
pmid:20308718 fatcat:7ykwfzab7fbwjifcdrkpgwqfzu