Combined-therapies vs. monotherapies for the first variceal bleeding in patients with high-risk varices: a meta-analysis of RCTs.
J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013 Oct 3;
Authors: Bai M, Qi X, Yang M, Han G, Fan D
BACKGROUND AND AIM: The effect of combined-therapies (among non-selected β-blockers, endoscopic therapy and other treatments) on the first variceal bleeding has been evaluated in several randomized controlled trials previously and the results were controversial. We performed this meta-analysis to assess the effect of combined-therapies in patients with high-risk varices without previous variceal bleeding.
METHODS: The Cochrane Library, The Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group Controlled Trials Register, MEDLINE, and EMBASE were searched for eligible trials. Manual searches were also performed for additional studies. Upper gastrointestinal bleeding, variceal bleeding, mortality, and adverse events were evaluated as endpoints by meta-analysis.
RESULTS: Twelve randomized controlled trials with 1571 patients were included. Compared to the non-selected β-blockers (propranolol or nadolol) or endoscopic therapy alone, all of the combined-therapies did not demonstrate significant improvements in variceal bleeding, total upper gastrointestinal bleeding, and mortality. Only the combinations of isosorbide-mononitrate or spironolactone with non-selected β-blockers tended to decrease the risk of variceal bleeding when compared to the use of non-selected β-blockers alone (isosorbide-mononitrate plus non-selected β-blockers vs. non-selected β-blockers: odds ratio = 0.67, 95% CI 0.40-1.13, p = 0.13; spironolactone plus non-selected β-blockers vs. non-selected β-blockers: odds ratio = 0.41, 95% CI 0.10-1.69, p = 0.22). Adverse events were more frequently observed in the combined-therapy groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Base on the available evidences, no combined-therapy can be recommended as the first-line treatment for the primary prevention of variceal bleeding currently. Further studies with large sample sizes and long-term follow-up are warranted.
PMID: 24118091 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]