Transparent cap-assisted endoscopic sclerotherapy in esophageal varices: a randomized-controlled trial

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Abstract

Background and aim

Endoscopic treatment is widely accepted as the first-line therapy selection for esophageal variceal bleeding. Nevertheless, endoscopic injection sclerotherapy requires experienced endoscopists and is associated with a high risk of bleeding. Our study evaluates the feasibility and efficacy of transparent cap-assisted endoscopic sclerotherapy in the management of esophageal varices.

Patients and methods

A randomized-controlled trial was conducted in a tertiary referral center from April 2015 to May 2016. Patients who received endoscopic sclerotherapy were randomized in a blinded manner into two groups: the transparent cap-assisted group (n=59) and the control group (n=61).

Results

The average injection sites were reduced in the transparent cap-assisted group compared with the control group (1.2±0.4 vs. 1.4±0.05, P=0.000), whereas no difference was observed in the dosage of lauromacrogol (16.97±4.91 vs. 16.85±4.57, P=0.662) and the hemorrhage that occurred during injection made no difference (50.8 vs. 61.0%, P=0.276); yet, salvage hemostasis methods were used in only nine patients in the transparent cap-assisted group compared with 17 patients in the control group (25.0 vs. 38.7%, P=0.0936). The cost of each procedure in the cap-assisted group was ¥2578 (1878–4202), whereas it was ¥3691 for the control group (2506–5791) (P=0.023). Moreover, in both groups, no esophageal constriction was observed during the 6-month follow-up period, whereas the rebleeding rate between two groups showed no statistical significance in 6 months (89.8 vs. 93.4%, P=0.563).

Conclusion

Transparent cap-assisted sclerotherapy provided a clear field of vision and helped to fix the targeted veins, thus significantly reducing the use of the salvage hemostasis method during sclerotherapy injection hemorrhage. It is also associated with reduced injection sites and endoscopic therapy cost.

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