Current management of esophageal variceal bleeding.
Recent trends in the clinical management of bleeding esophageal varices include a shift away from endoscopic variceal sclerotherapy toward endoscopic variceal ligation. The excellent efficacy of the latter and its lower complication rate favor its increased use. Similarly, the minimally invasive nature of the TIPS procedure and its successful implementation by invasive radiologists have further reduced the need for surgical shunts in general, as well as when endoscopic intervention has failed. A multidisciplinary approach toward evaluation and treatment of variceal hemorrhage can be expected to improve the outcomes of these patients. More selective application of each of the therapies, either alone or in combination with other modalities, leads to improved results, as recently demonstrated by a series comparing outcomes of surgical shunts when used alone or as a preface to liver transplantation.
Knechtle, SJ; Rikkers, LF
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