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      Balloon-Occluded Retrograde Transvenous Obliteration versus Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt for the Management of Gastric Variceal Bleeding


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          Gastric varices (GVs) are a major cause of upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with liver cirrhosis. The current treatments of choice are balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration (BRTO) and the placement of a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS). We aimed to compare the efficacy and outcomes of these two methods for the management of GV bleeding.


          This retrospective study included consecutive patients who received BRTO (n=157) or TIPS (n=19) to control GV bleeding from January 2005 to December 2014 at a single tertiary hospital in Korea. The overall survival (OS), immediate bleeding control rate, rebleeding rate and complication rate were compared between patients in the BRTO and TIPS groups.


          Patients in the BRTO group showed higher immediate bleeding control rates (p=0.059, odds ratio [OR]=4.72) and lower cumulative rebleeding rates (log-rank p=0.060) than those in the TIPS group, although the difference failed to reach statistical significance. There were no significant differences in the rates of complications, including pleural effusion, aggravation of esophageal varices, portal hypertensive gastropathy, and portosystemic encephalopathy, although the rate of the progression of ascites was significantly higher in the BRTO group (p=0.02, OR=7.93). After adjusting for several confounding factors using a multivariate Cox analysis, the BRTO group had a significantly longer OS (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR]=0.44, p=0.01) and a longer rebleeding-free survival (aHR=0.34, p=0.001) than the TIPS group.


          BRTO provides better bleeding control, rebleeding-free survival, and OS than TIPS for patients with GV bleeding.

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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)
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            Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for liver cirrhosis 2015.

            The Japanese Society of Gastroenterology revised the evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for liver cirrhosis in 2015. Eighty-three clinical questions were selected, and a literature search was performed for the clinical questions with use of the MEDLINE, Cochrane, and Igaku Chuo Zasshi databases for the period between 1983 and June 2012. Manual searching of the latest important literature was added until August 2015. The guidelines were developed with use of the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) system. This digest version in English introduces selected clinical questions and statements related to the management of liver cirrhosis and its complications. Branched-chain amino acids relieve hypoalbuminemia and hepatic encephalopathy and improve quality of life. Nucleoside analogues and peginterferon plus ribavirin combination therapy improve the prognosis of patients with hepatitis B virus related liver cirrhosis and hepatitis C related compensated liver cirrhosis, respectively, although the latter therapy may be replaced by direct-acting antivirals. For liver cirrhosis caused by primary biliary cirrhosis and active autoimmune hepatitis, urosodeoxycholic acid and steroid are recommended, respectively. The most adequate modalities for the management of variceal bleeding are the endoscopic injection sclerotherapy for esophageal varices and the balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration following endoscopic obturation with cyanoacrylate for gastric varices. Beta-blockers are useful for primary prophylaxis of esophageal variceal bleeding. The V2 receptor antagonist tolvaptan is a useful add-on therapy in careful diuretic therapy for ascites. Albumin infusion is useful for the prevention of paracentesis-induced circulatory disturbance and renal failure. In addition to disaccharides, the nonabsorbable antibiotic rifaximin is useful for the management of encephalopathy. Anticoagulation therapy is proposed for patients with acute-onset or progressive portal vein thrombosis.
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              Natural history of portal hypertension in patients with cirrhosis.

              All patients with cirrhosis will eventually develop portal hypertension and esophagogastric varices. Bleeding from ruptured esophagogastric varices is the most severe complication of cirrhosis and is the cause of death in about one third of patients. The rate of development and growth of esophageal varices is poorly defined but in general seem to be related to the degree of liver dysfunction. Once varices have formed, they tend to increase in size and eventually to bleed. In unselected patients, the incidence of variceal bleeding is about 20% to 30% at 2 years. Variceal size is the single most important predictor of a first variceal bleeding episode. Several prognostic indexes based on endoscopic and clinical parameters have been developed to predict the risk of bleeding; however, their degree of accuracy is unsatisfactory. Death caused by uncontrolled bleeding occurs in about 6% to 8% of patients; the 6-week mortality rate after a variceal hemorrhage is 25% to 30%. There are no good prognostic indicators of death caused by uncontrolled bleeding or death within 6 weeks. Untreated patients surviving a variceal hemorrhage have a 1- to 2-year risk of rebleeding of about 60% and a risk of death of about 40% to 50%. The risk of bleeding is greatest in the first days after a bleeding episode and slowly declines thereafter. All patients surviving a variceal hemorrhage must be treated to prevent rebleeding. Varices can also be found in the stomach of cirrhotic patients, alone or in association with esophageal varices. Gastric varices bleed less frequently but more severely than esophageal varices. Portal hypertensive gastropathy is a common feature of cirrhosis, and its prevalence parallels the severity of portal hypertension and liver dysfunction. Portal hypertensive gastropathy can progress from mild to severe and vice-versa or even disappear completely. Acute bleeding from portal hypertensive gastropathy seems to be relatively uncommon, and less severe than bleeding from varices.

                Author and article information

                Gut Liver
                Gut Liver
                Gut and Liver
                Editorial Office of Gut and Liver
                November 2018
                21 September 2018
                : 12
                : 6
                : 704-713
                [1 ]Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
                [2 ]Department of Internal Medicine and Liver Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
                [3 ]Department of Radiology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
                [4 ]Department of Preventive Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: Yoon Jun Kim, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 101 Daehak-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03080, Korea, Tel: +82-2-2072-2228, Fax: +82-2-743-6701, E-mail: yoonjun@ 123456snu.ac.kr

                Geunwu Gimm and Young Chang contributed equally to this work as first authors.

                Copyright © 2018 by The Korean Society of Gastroenterology, the Korean Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the Korean Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, Korean College of Helicobacter and Upper Gastrointestinal Research, Korean Association the Study of Intestinal Diseases, the Korean Association for the Study of the Liver, Korean Pancreatobiliary Association, and Korean Society of Gastrointestinal Cancer.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Article

                Gastroenterology & Hepatology
                balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration,portasystemic shunt,transjugular intrahepatic,variceal bleeding


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