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      Austrian consensus guidelines on the management and treatment of portal hypertension (Billroth III)


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          The Billroth III guidelines were developed during a consensus meeting of the Austrian Society of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (ÖGGH) and the Austrian Society of Interventional Radiology (ÖGIR) held on 18 February 2017 in Vienna. Based on international guidelines and considering recent landmark studies, the Billroth III recommendations aim to help physicians in guiding diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in patients with portal hypertension.

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          Transfusion strategies for acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding.

          The hemoglobin threshold for transfusion of red cells in patients with acute gastrointestinal bleeding is controversial. We compared the efficacy and safety of a restrictive transfusion strategy with those of a liberal transfusion strategy. We enrolled 921 patients with severe acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding and randomly assigned 461 of them to a restrictive strategy (transfusion when the hemoglobin level fell below 7 g per deciliter) and 460 to a liberal strategy (transfusion when the hemoglobin fell below 9 g per deciliter). Randomization was stratified according to the presence or absence of liver cirrhosis. A total of 225 patients assigned to the restrictive strategy (51%), as compared with 61 assigned to the liberal strategy (14%), did not receive transfusions (P<0.001) [corrected].The probability of survival at 6 weeks was higher in the restrictive-strategy group than in the liberal-strategy group (95% vs. 91%; hazard ratio for death with restrictive strategy, 0.55; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.33 to 0.92; P=0.02). Further bleeding occurred in 10% of the patients in the restrictive-strategy group as compared with 16% of the patients in the liberal-strategy group (P=0.01), and adverse events occurred in 40% as compared with 48% (P=0.02). The probability of survival was slightly higher with the restrictive strategy than with the liberal strategy in the subgroup of patients who had bleeding associated with a peptic ulcer (hazard ratio, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.26 to 1.25) and was significantly higher in the subgroup of patients with cirrhosis and Child-Pugh class A or B disease (hazard ratio, 0.30; 95% CI, 0.11 to 0.85), but not in those with cirrhosis and Child-Pugh class C disease (hazard ratio, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.45 to 2.37). Within the first 5 days, the portal-pressure gradient increased significantly in patients assigned to the liberal strategy (P=0.03) but not in those assigned to the restrictive strategy. As compared with a liberal transfusion strategy, a restrictive strategy significantly improved outcomes in patients with acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding. (Funded by Fundació Investigació Sant Pau; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00414713.).
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            Effect of intravenous albumin on renal impairment and mortality in patients with cirrhosis and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis.

            In patients with cirrhosis and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, renal function frequently becomes impaired. This impairment is probably related to a reduction in effective arterial blood volume and is associated with a high mortality rate. We conducted a study to determine whether plasma volume expansion with intravenous albumin prevents renal impairment and reduces mortality in these patients. We randomly assigned 126 patients with cirrhosis and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis to treatment with intravenous cefotaxime (63 patients) or cefotaxime and intravenous albumin (63 patients). Cefotaxime was given daily in dosages that varied according to the serum creatinine level, and albumin was given at a dose of 1.5 g per kilogram of body weight at the time of diagnosis, followed by 1 g per kilogram on day 3. Renal impairment was defined as nonreversible deterioration of renal function during hospitalization. The infection resolved in 59 patients in the cefotaxime group (94 percent) and 62 in the cefotaxime-plus-albumin group (98 percent) (P=0.36). Renal impairment developed in 21 patients in the cefotaxime group (33 percent) and 6 in the cefotaxime-plus-albumin group (10 percent) (P=0.002). Eighteen patients (29 percent) in the cefotaxime group died in the hospital, as compared with 6 (10 percent) in the cefotaxime-plus-albumin group (P=0.01); at three months, the mortality rates were 41 percent (a total of 26 deaths) and 22 percent (a total of 14 deaths), respectively (P=0.03). Patients treated with cefotaxime had higher levels of plasma renin activity than those treated with cefotaxime and albumin; patients with renal impairment had the highest values. In patients with cirrhosis and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, treatment with intravenous albumin in addition to an antibiotic reduces the incidence of renal impairment and death in comparison with treatment with an antibiotic alone.
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              Prevalence, classification and natural history of gastric varices: a long-term follow-up study in 568 portal hypertension patients.

              To determine the prevalence and natural history of gastric varices, we prospectively studied 568 patients (393 bleeders and 175 nonbleeders) with portal hypertension (cirrhosis in 301 patients, noncirrhotic portal fibrosis in 115 patients, extrahepatic portal vein obstruction in 117 patients and hepatic venous outflow obstruction in 35 patients). Primary (present at initial examination) gastric varices were seen in 114 (20%) patients; more were present in bleeders than in non-bleeders (27% vs. 4%, respectively; p < 0.001). Secondary (occurring after obliteration of esophageal varices) gastric varices developed in 33 (9%) patients during follow-up of 24.6 +/- 5.3 mo. Gastric varices (compared with esophageal varices) bled in significantly fewer patients (25% vs. 64%, respectively). Gastric varices had a lower bleeding risk factor than did esophageal varices (2.0 +/- 0.5 vs. 4.3 +/- 0.4, respectively) but bled more severely (4.8 +/- 0.6 vs. 2.9 +/- 0.3 transfusion units per patient, respectively). Once a varix bled, mortality was more likely (45%) in gastric varix patients. Gastric varices were classified as gastroesophageal or isolated gastric varices. Type 1 gastroesophageal varices (lesser curve varices) were the most common (75%). After obliteration of esophageal varices, type 1 gastroesophageal varices disappeared in 59% of patients and persisted in the remainder; bleeding from persistent gastroesophageal varices was more common than it was from gastroesophageal varices that were obliterated (28% vs. 2%, respectively; p < 0.001). Type 2 gastroesophageal varices, which extend to greater curvature, bled often (55%) and were associated with high mortality. Type 1 isolated gastric varices patients had only fundal varices, with a high (78%) incidence of bleeding.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

                Author and article information

                +43-1-4040047440 , +43-1-4040047350 , thomas.reiberger@meduniwien.ac.at
                Wien Klin Wochenschr
                Wien. Klin. Wochenschr
                Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift
                Springer Vienna (Vienna )
                23 October 2017
                23 October 2017
                : 129
                : Suppl 3
                : 135-158
                ISNI 0000 0000 9259 8492, GRID grid.22937.3d, Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine III, , Medical University of Vienna, ; Währinger Gürtel 18–20, 1090 Vienna, Austria
                © The Author(s) 2017

                Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

                Funded by: Medical University of Vienna
                Original Article
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                © Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria 2017


                portal hypertension, billroth, austria, guidelines, cirrhosis, varices, ascites, tips


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