Early rebleeding and death at 6 weeks in alcoholic cirrhotic patients with acute variceal bleeding treated with emergency endoscopic injection sclerotherapy

  • J Krige
  • U Kotze
  • J Shaw
  • P Bornman

Abstract

Background. This study evaluated the incidence of rebleeding and death at 6 weeks after a first episode of acute variceal haemorrhage (AVH) treated by emergency endoscopic sclerotherapy in a large cohort of alcoholic cirrhotic patients.
Methods. From January 1984 to December 2006, 310 alcoholic cirrhotic patients (242 men, 68 women; mean age 51.7 years) with AVH underwent 786 endoscopic variceal injection treatments (342 emergency, 444 elective) during 919 endoscopy sessions in the first 6 weeks after the first
variceal bleed. Endoscopic control of initial bleeding, variceal rebleeding and survival at 6 weeks were recorded.
Results. Endoscopic intervention controlled AVH in 304 of 310 patients (98.1%). Seventy-five patients (24.2%) rebled, 38 (12.3%) within 5 days and 37 (11.9%) within 6 weeks. No patient scored as Child-Pugh A died. Seventy-seven (24.8%) Child-Pugh B and C patients died, 29 (9.3%) within 5 days and 48 (15.4%) between 6 and 42 days. Mortality increased
exponentially as the Child-Pugh score increased, reaching 80% when the score exceeded 13.
Conclusion. Despite initial control of variceal haemorrhage, 1 in 4 patients (24.2%) rebled within 6 weeks. Survival at 6 weeks was 75.2% and was influenced by the severity of liver failure, with most deaths occurring in Child-Pugh grade C patients.
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eISSN: 2078-5151
print ISSN: 0038-2361