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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


LARRONDO G, Francisco Javier  y  MANRIQUEZ M, Juan Jorge. Análisis crítico de un artículo: Critical appraisal: Band ligation and propranolol are equally effective for primary prevention of variceal bleeding. Schepke M, Kleber G, Nurnberg D, Willert J, Koch L, Veltzke-Schlieker W et al; German Study Group for the Primary Prophylaxis of Variceal Bleeding. Ligation versus propranolol for the primary prophylaxis of variceal bleeding in cirrhosis. Hepatology 2004; 40: 65-72.. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2004, vol.132, n.12, pp.1561-1564. ISSN 0034-9887.

In this randomized controlled multicenter trial, we compared endoscopic variceal banding ligation (VBL) with propranolol (PPL) for primary prophylaxis of variceal bleeding. One hundred fifty-two cirrhotic patients with 2 or more esophageal varices (diameter >5 mm) without prior bleeding were randomized to VBL (n=75) or PPL (n=77). The groups were well matched with respect to baseline characteristics (age 56±10 years, alcoholic etiology 51%, Child-Pugh score 7.2±1.8). The mean follow-up was 34±19 months. Data were analyzed on an intention-to-treat basis. Neither bleeding incidence nor mortality differed significantly between the 2 groups. Variceal bleeding occurred in 25% of the VBL group and in 29% of the PPL group. The actuarial risks of bleeding after 2 years were 20% (VBL) and 18% (PPL). Fatal bleeding was observed in 12% (VBL) and 10% (PPL). It was associated with the ligation procedure in 2 patients (2.6%). Overall mortality was 45% (VBL) and 43% (PPL) with the 2-year actuarial risks being 28% (VBL) and 22% (PPL). 25% of patients withdrew from PPL treatment, 16% due to side effects. In conclusion, VBL and PPL were similarly effective for primary prophylaxis of variceal bleeding. VBL should be offered to patients who are not candidates for long-term PPL treatment

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