Management of varices in cirrhosis.
Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2011 Jan 27;
Authors: Thalheimer U, Triantos C, Goulis J, Burroughs AK
Introduction: Acute variceal bleeding is a medical emergency and one of the main causes of mortality in patients with cirrhosis. Timely and effective treatment of the acute bleeding episode results in increased survival, and appropriate prophylactic treatment can prevent bleeding or rebleeding from varices. Areas covered: We discuss the prevention of development and growth of varices, the primary and secondary prophylaxis of bleeding, the treatment of acute bleeding, and the management of gastric varices. We systematically reviewed studies, without time limits, identified through Medline and searches of reference lists, and provide an overview of the evidence underlying the -treatment options in the management of varices in cirrhosis. Expert opinion: The management of variceal hemorrhage relies on nonspecific interventions (e.g., adequate fluid resuscitation, airway protection) and on specific interventions. These are routine prophylactic antibiotics, vasoactive drugs and endoscopic treatment. Procedures such as the placement of a Sengstaken-Blakemore tube or a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) can be lifesaving. The primary and secondary prophylaxis of bleeding is based on nonselective beta-blockers and endoscopy, even though TIPS or, less frequently, surgery have a role in selected cases.
PMID: 21269241 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]