Background: Acute variceal bleeding in cirrhotic patients is an emergency with a high risk of rebleeding and death. Endoscopic procedures such as sclerotherapy or banding, combined or not with drugs such as octreotide could be considered. Aim: To assess the value of octreotide in the control of acute variceal bleeding. Patients and methods: Ninety-two patients were randomized into three groups: endoscopic therapy plus octreotide 50 µg/h bolus and continuous infusion for 5 days (n= 36); octreotide (same dosage) (n= 13) and endoscopic therapy only (banding and/or sclerotherapy) (n= 43). Results: Haemostasis at 24 hours was achieved in 97% of patients with combined treatment, 69% of patients receiving octreotide, and 93% of patients with endoscopic therapy (p= 0.2). Three patients with combined treatment, four patients receiving octreotide and eight patients with endoscopic therapy, rebled during the first five days (p= 0.15). The mean of blood units transfused was similar in the three groups. No differences were observed in hospital days and side effects. At 42 days of follow up, eight patients with endoscopic therapy, one patients with combined therapy and 2 patients receiving octreotide, died (p=NS). Conclusions: Octreotide is useful in the management of acute variceal bleeding. The absence of important side effects, renders it as a safe adjuvant treatment associated with endoscopic treatment (Rev Méd Chile 2004; 132: 285-94).
Sociedad Médica de Santiago
Revista médica de Chile v.132 n.3 2004
Esophageal and gastric varices
Octreótido, tratamiento endoscópico o ambos en la hemorragia variceal activa enpacientes cirróticos: estudio multicéntrico