AbstractBackground and aim
Gastric varices (GVs) occur with an incidence of 20% in patients with portal hypertension. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of endoscopic band ligation (BL) as an option in the management of small-to-moderate nonbleeding GVs in cirrhotic patients.Patients and methods
A total of 50 patients (GOV2; n=6, IGV1; n=34, IGV2; n=10) with nonbleeding small-to-moderate-sized GVs without local risk signs of bleeding, such as large size, red-colored elevated areas or red wales, and systemic factors of bleeding risk such as an international normalized ratio of at least 2 and a platelet count of 80 000/µl or less were subjected to endoscopic BL. The patients were followed up every 2 weeks for 1 month and then every 1.5 months for 6 months. The primary outcome was GV eradication, detection of complications such as postprocedural bleeding ulceration and mortality.Results
The mean number of BL sessions was 2.2±0.8; post-BL ulceration occurred in two (4%) patients (n=2 in IGV1, P=0.61), bleeding occurred in one (2%) patient (n=1 in IGV1, P=0.79), and epigastric pain occurred in six (12%, n=4 in GOV2, n=2 in IGV1) patients. There was no mortality reported among patients treated with BL.Conclusion
Endoscopic BL resulted in better outcome and a lower incidence of complications when used to treat small-to-medium-sized nonbleeding GVs. Further, early eradication can save effort and cost, thus avoiding the future risk of treatment of large or risky GVs with sclerotherapy.