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Abstract

Endoscopic injection sclerotherapy was given to 155 patients with esophageal varices mainly related to non-alcoholic liver cirrhosis. The formation of a superficial ulcer in the lower esophagus was achieved in 141 (91.0%) of the 155 patients, with an average of 4.1 sessions of endoscopic injection sclerotherapy during an average time of 4.9 weeks. The average volume of 5% ethanolamine oleate sclerosant used was 24.8, 19.2, 12.3 and 6.5 ml for the initial to fourth sessions of endoscopic injection sclerotherapy, respectively.

For 14 patients, a sufficient number of sessions of endoscopic injection sclerotherapy could not be given: 10 early deaths (5 hepatoma, 4 liver failure and 1 gastric bleeding), and 4 refused further sessions.

When the esophageal mucosa had been eliminated and a superficial ulcer had formed, episodes of recurrent bleeding or recurrence of esophageal varices were nil over a median follow-up of 14.6 months, with a range of 1 to 27 months. In seven patients, bleeding recurred before elimination of the mucosa could be achieved, but these bleeding episodes were well controlled with an additional session of endoscopic injection sclerotherapy.

At the time of analysis, there were 36 deaths (20 hepatoma, 14 liver failure and 2 gastric bleeding) among these 155 patients. Thus, the mean follow-up was 16.3 months (range: 7 to 27 months) in the 119 survivors, with no recurrence of the varices.

We propose that removal of the esophageal mucosa may well be the endpoint of repeated endoscopic injection sclerotherapy in the management of patients on injection sclerotherapy.