Obliteration of Esophageal Varices by PTP A Follow-up of 43 Patients

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The percutaneous transhepatic portal vein catheterization (PTP) with selective obliteration of the coronary vein and/or the short gastric veins in treating bleeding esophageal varices was introduced in 1974. In order to prevent recanalization of the vessels Buerylate® (isobutyl-2-cyano-acrylate) has been used in 43 patients 55 times during a period of 34 months (October 1975 to July 1978). The obliterative treatment was followed by rebleeding in 35% of the cases and continued bleeding occurred in two patients. Fourteen patients were treated on 16 occasions during acute bleedings, and five of these (36%) died within two months from a portal vein thrombosis caused by the obliterative procedure. Because of these findings PTP with obliteration of the veins feeding the esophageal varices is not recommended as an elective way of treatment. It should only be used in the acute bleeding patient when transesophageal sclerosering therapy, continuous vasopressin infusion and balloon tamponade have failed. Fifty-six per cent of the patients acutely treated stopped bleeding for more than one week, thus avoiding an emergency shunt or devascularization operation which are associated with a high mortality rate.

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