Two-year experience of management of bleeding esophageal varices with a coordinated treatment program based on injection sclerotherapy.
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The results of 61 consecutive patients treated for bleeding esophageal varices with a coordinated multidisciplinary protocol are described. The primary form of treatment after vigorous resuscitation was fiberoptic endoscopic injection sclerotherapy under general anesthetic. Thirteen patients failed to be controlled by injection, and eight were able to be treated by percutaneous transhepatic embolization. Those patients who were unable to undergo embolization or whose bleeding did not stop after embolization were controlled by surgery. The overall mortality rate with the 2-year limit was 29 patients (47%); however, only 18 deaths (29%) were related to the hospital admission for bleeding. Only one patient died of continued variceal bleeding. All of the other deaths were from later liver failure or unrelated disease. The results of the study confirmed the high mortality rate in patients with severe liver disease (Child's grade C) undergoing surgical control of bleeding, and it was shown that when control was obtained with injection sclerotherapy and embolization, the 1-year survival rate of a similar group of patients may be as high as 32%.
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