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Endoscopic variceal ligation versus conservative treatment for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and bleeding esophageal varices

Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0016-5107(95)70006-4


Abstract Background: Endoscopic variceal ligation (EVL) is currently a favored treatment for control of bleeding from esophageal varices. However, little is known about the treatment of bleeding varices in hepatocellular carcinoma. Methods: EVL was performed in 16 patients with bleeding esophageal varices due to concomitant hepatocellular carcinoma. Treatment results were compared with those of another 23 patients who were conservatively treated. Results: Comparing the two groups, ligation significantly reduced the risk of fatal bleeding (44% vs 70%; P < 0.05). Significantly fewer patients in the ligation group died at the time of the index hemorrhage (11% vs 52%; P < 0.05). Rebleeding occurred in 44% of the ligation group and 73% in the control group ( P > 0.05). The mean days of survival were 40 ± 20 (range, 7 to 103) in the ligation group and 20 ± 30 (range, 1 to 136) in the control group ( P = 0.08). In the absence of portal vein thrombosis, ligation significantly reduced the rebleeding rate (17% vs 50%, P < 0.05) and the mortality rate (0% vs 100%, P < 0.05). Conclusion: EVL is a good choice for palliation in patients with esophageal variceal bleeding and hepatocellular carcinoma. Aggressive use of EVL may be tried in those patients without portal venous thrombosis. (Gastrointest Endosc 1995;42:535-9.)

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