SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

Both β-blockers and endoscopic variceal ligation (EVL) have proven to be valuable alternatives to sclerotherapy in the prevention of variceal rebleeding. Sucralfate is a mucosal protector. The effects of combinations of β-blocker, band ligation, and sucralfate (triple therapy) remain unknown. A total of 122 patients with a history of esophageal variceal bleeding were randomized to receive EVL only (group A, 62 patients) or triple therapy (group B, 60 patients). The procedure for the triple therapy included ligation with the addition of sucralfate granules until variceal obliteration. In addition, nadolol was administered during the course of the study or until death. After a median follow-up of 21 months, recurrent upper gastrointestinal bleeding developed in 29 patients (47%) in group A and 14 patients (23%) in group B (P = .005). Recurrent bleeding from esophagogastric varices occurred in 18 patients in group A and 7 patients in group B (P = .001). Twenty-one patients in group A (50%) and 12 patients (26%) in group B experienced variceal recurrence after variceal obliteration (P < .05). Treatment failure occurred in 11 patients (18%) in group A and in 4 patients (7%) in group B (P = .05). Twenty patients from group A and 10 patients from group B died (P = .08); 9 and 4 of these deaths, respectively, were attributed to variceal hemorrhage (P = .26). The combination of ligation, nadolol, and sucralfate (triple therapy) proved more effective than banding ligation alone in terms of prevention of variceal recurrence and upper gastrointestinal rebleeding as well as variceal rebleeding.