Is additional 5-day vasoactive drug therapy necessary for acute variceal bleeding after successful endoscopic hemostasis?: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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Background:Vasoactive drugs and endoscopic therapy have been widely used in the management of acute variceal bleeding of cirrhosis patients. The current standard regimen of vasoactive drugs is in combination with endoscopic therapy and continues for up to 5 days; however, the necessity of vasoactive drugs after endoscopic hemostasis was still controversial. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy and optimal duration of adjuvant vasoactive drugs after hemorrhage control by endoscopic therapy.Methods:A search was conducted of PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases until June, 2018. Lan DeMets sequential monitoring boundary was constructed to assess the reliability and conclusiveness of our major results.Results:Seven studies (639 patients) and 4 studies (435 patients) were included in the analyses to evaluate the efficacy and optimal duration of adjuvant vasoactive drugs therapy, respectively. Our analyses showed that adjuvant vasoactive drugs facilitated endoscopic hemostasis and reduced very early re-bleeding rate both in sclerotherapy (risk ratio [RR] 0.51, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.34–0.78, P = .23, I2 = 31%) and band ligation (RR 0.48, 95% CI 0.27–0.83, P = .07, I2 = 62%). However, the 3 to 5-day therapy duration was not superior to a shorter course in very early re-bleeding rate and mortality rate in 42 days (RR 1.77, 95% CI 0.64–4.89, P = .70, I2 = 0%; RR 0.95, 95% CI 0.43–2.13, P = .81, I2 = 0%, respectively).Conclusion:Additional 5-day vasoactive drug after endoscopic hemostasis may significantly ameliorate very early re-bleeding rate, However, the 3 to 5 days’ adjuvant regimen was not superior to a shorter course.

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