The Efficacy and the Safety of Prophylactic N-Butyl-2-Cyanoacrylate Injection for Gastric Varices Using a Modified Injection Technique

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Primary prophylactic N-butyl-2-cyanoacrylate (NBC) injection for nonbleeding gastric varices (GVs) remains controversial. In addition, there is still no consensus concerning the technique, its safety, and long-term results.


To analyze the safety and the efficacy of NBC for primary prophylaxis of GVs using a modified injection technique.


Between February 2004 and June 2014, a total of 72 patients with GVs with a high risk of bleeding, who received undiluted NBC injection using a modified “sandwich” method for primary prophylaxis in General Hospital of Chengdu Military Command, were enrolled in this retrospective study. All patients were followed up at 1 to 2 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and thereafter every 6 months or whenever required, using endoscope detection. The rate of obliteration, bleeding, recurrence, and complications was evaluated.


According to the standard Sarin classification, 28 patients were IGV1 and 44 patients were GEV2. Hepatitis B virus infection was the major cause of portal hypertension. The mean number of sessions were 1.4 (1 to 3) and the mean volume of NBC per session was 3.5 mL (1 to 6 mL). One injection per session was used in 41 patients (56.9%) and 2 or more injections were used in the remaining 31 patients (43.1%). During the follow-up (27 mo; range, 12 to 67 mo), complete obliteration of GVs was achieved in 93.1% of the patients (67/72). One session of NBC injection was enough to obliterate GVs in 49 patients (68.1%), and 2 or more sessions were needed in 23 patients (31.9%). In addition, the bleeding and the recurrence rate were 11.1% (8/72) and 15.3% (11/72), respectively, during the follow-up. The cumulative bleeding-free rate at 1, 3, and 5 years was 95.8%, 91.7%, and 88.9%, respectively. Worsening of esophageal varices was observed in 13 patients (9 in GEV2 and 4 in IGV1). No serious complications, such as distal embolism, were observed in all patients.


Prophylactic endoscopic NBC injection using a modified injection technique may be a safe and effective treatment for gastric fundal varices with a high risk of bleeding.

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