Endoscopic variceal ligation is a safe and simple procedure now being used on a widening scale.
Yet most patients who undergo endoscopic treatment for esophageal varices eventually require additional treatment for recurrent varices.
Dr Hiroshi Yoshida and colleagues from Tokyo investigated and compared the efficacy and long-term results of endoscopic variceal ligation.
The investigators assessed endoscopic variceal ligation performed in 3 treatments with a total of 16 O-rings at 2 different intervals.
The intervals were bi-weekly, occurring every second week, and bi-monthly occurring once every 2 months.
|Variceal recurrence and additional treatment were higher in the bi-weekly group|
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
A total of 63 patients with esophageal varices were randomly assigned to groups receiving bi-weekly or bi-monthly endoscopic variceal ligation treatment.
The team reported that optimal medical therapy was assessed by 1 medical doctor who was unaware of the patients' treatment assignments.
The investigators evaluated 3 parameters of treatment outcomes including the rate of recurrence, rate of additional treatment, and overall survival.
The overall rates of variceal recurrence and additional treatment were both higher in the bi-weekly group than in the bi-monthly group.
Dr Yoshida's team commented, “Endoscopic variceal ligation performed for the treatment of esophageal varices at bi-monthly intervals brought about better results than the same treatment performed at bi-weekly intervals.”
“The treatments intercalated by the longer interval obtained a higher total eradication rate, lower recurrence rate, and lower rate of additional treatment.”