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Esophageal Varices [keywords]
- String capsule endoscopy for screening and surveillance of esophageal varices in patients with cirrhosis. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Interv Gastroenterol 2012 4; 2(2):54-60.
EGD is the gold standard for the screening and surveillance of esophageal varices. A less invasive, safer and sedationless alternative procedure is needed.To assess the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV) as well as the beyond the chance agreement (kappa index), of string capsule endoscopy (SCE) in the diagnosis of esophageal varices.Cirrhotic patients underwent string capsule endoscopy (SCE) and EGD for screening and surveillance purposes. Varices were graded at EGD and SCE as small, medium and large. Descriptors at SCE were added as follows: PLUS, for the presence of red wale signs or, MINUS for their absence, irrespective of the estimated variceal size. Clinically significant varices were defined by their size (medium/large at either EGD or SCE) and/or, the PLUS descriptor irrespective of the estimated size at SCE. Sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, accuracy and kappa index were calculated. Procedure time, procedure-related discomfort and patient's preference were documented.100 patients (33 for screening and 67 for surveillance) were enrolled. The sensitivity and specificity of SCE for clinically significant varices when using the PLUS/MINUS descriptors were 82% and 90%, respectively with a PPV of 84% and NPV of 89% and a kappa of 0.73.String capsule endoscopy had an acceptable sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of clinically significant esophageal varices but the lack of air insufflation still hampers its correlation with the grading used with EGD.
- Sustained virological response: A milestone in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- World J Gastroenterol 2013 May 14; 19(18):2793-2798.
AIM:To evaluate the long-term eradication of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and liver-related complications in chronically infected patients that have achieved sustained virological response.
METHODS:One hundred and fifty subjects with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) or cirrhosis and sustained virological response (SVR) between the years of 1989 and 2008 were enrolled in a long-term clinical follow-up study at the Gastrointestinal and Liver Unit of the University Hospital of Naples "Federico II". At the beginning of the study, the diagnosis of HCV infection was made on the basis of serum positivity for antibodies to HCV and detection of HCV RNA transcripts, while a diagnosis of chronic hepatitis was formulated using imaging techniques and/or a liver biopsy. SVR was achieved by interferon-based therapy, both conventional and pegylated, with and without ribavirin treatment. The patients were evaluated for follow-up at a median length of 8.6 years, but ranged from 2-19.9 years. Among them, 137 patients had pre-treatment CHC and 13 had cirrhosis. The patients were followed with clinical, biochemical, virological, and ultrasound assessments on a given schedule. Finally, a group of 27 patients underwent a liver biopsy at the beginning of the study and transient elastography at their final visit to evaluate changes in liver fibrosis.
RESULTS:The median follow-up was 8.6 years (range 2-19.9 years). HCV RNA remained undetectable in all patients, even in patients who eventually developed liver-related complications, indicating no risk of HCV recurrence. Three liver-related complications were observed: two cases of hepatocellular carcinoma and one case of bleeding from esophageal varices resulting in an incidence rate of 0.23%/person per year. Further, all three complications took place in patients diagnosed with cirrhosis before treatment began. Only one death due to liver-related causes occurred, resulting in a mortality rate of 0.077% person per year. This amounts to a 99.33% survival rate in our cohort of patients after therapy for HCV infection. Finally, of the 27 patients who underwent a liver biopsy at the beginning of the study, a reduction in liver fibrosis was observed in 70.3% of the cases; only three cases registering values of liver stiffness indicative of significant fibrosis.
CONCLUSION:Patients with CHC and SVR show an excellent prognosis with no risk of recurrence and a very low rate of mortality. Our data indicate that virus-eradication following interferon treatment can last up to 20 years.
- Downhill oesophageal varices resulting from superior vena cava graft occlusion after resection of a thymoma. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg 2013 May 17.
Downhill oesophageal varices (DEV) may occur as a rare complication of superior vena cava (SVC) obstruction. DEV are usually associated with SVC obstruction caused by systemic vasculitis or mediastinal tumours. In this report, we describe a very rare case of DEV resulting from SVC graft occlusion after resection of a thymoma. A 66-year old man with an invasive thymoma was treated by radical resection and bypass grafting from the right brachiocephalic vein to the right atrium. Occlusion of the SVC graft was diagnosed postoperatively; however, the patient could be managed conservatively. Although there had been no significant findings in the oesophagus in previous endoscopic examinations, grade F2 varices were found in the proximal oesophagus in the 19th postoperative month, and DEV caused by SVC graft occlusion was diagnosed. Until now, 2 years since the diagnosis, no apparent symptoms or deterioration of the DEV have been observed. The possible development of DEV should be borne in mind during the follow-up of patients with postoperative SVC graft occlusion.
- Comparison of Endoscopic Variceal Ligation and Endoscopic Variceal Obliteration in Patients with GOV1 Bleeding. [Journal Article]
- Chonnam Med J 2013 Apr; 49(1):14-9.
The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy, rebleeding rates, survival, and complications of endoscopic variceal ligation (EVL) with those of endoscopic variceal obliteration (EVO) in patients with acute type 1 gastroesophageal variceal (GOV1) bleeding. Data were collected retrospectively at a single center. A total of 84 patients were selected (20 patients underwent EVL; 64 patients underwent EVO) from February 2004 to September 2011. Their clinical characteristics, laboratory results, vital signs, Child-Pugh score, Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) score, and overall mortality were evaluated. There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics between the two groups. The success rate in initial control of active bleeding was not significantly different between the EVL and EVO groups (18/20 EVL, or 90.0%, compared with 62/64 EVO, or 96.9%; p=0.239). The early rebleeding rate was also not significantly different between the groups (3/18 EVL, or 16.7% compared with 17/62 EVO, or 27.4%; p=0.422). The late rebleeding rate of the EVL group was lower than that of the EVO group (3/18 EVL, or 16.7%, compared with 26/59 EVO, or 44.1%; p=0.042). The time-to-rebleeding was 594 days for the EVL group and 326 days for the EVO group (p=0.054). In the multivariate analysis, portal vein thrombosis (PVT) was a significant risk factor for early rebleeding. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and previous history of bleeding were significant risk factors for very late rebleeding. In conclusion, EVL is better than EVO in reducing late rebleeding in acute GOV1 bleeding. HCC, PVT, and previous bleeding history were significant risk factors for rebleeding.
- Case of idiopathic portal hypertension complicated with autoimmune hepatitis. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Hepatol Res 2013 May 15.
We report a case of idiopathic portal hypertension (IPH) complicated with autoimmune hepatitis. A 60-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital with esophageal and gastric varices in February 2010. Abdominal ultrasonography and computed tomography showed splenomegaly and collateral veins without evidence of liver cirrhosis. Laboratory examinations and liver biopsy indicated that the esophageal and gastric varices were caused by IPH. She underwent endoscopic injection sclerotherapy and partial splenic embolization. Two years after these therapies, laboratory examinations showed liver dysfunction with elevated levels of aspartate aminotransferase (180 IU/L), alanine aminotransferase (190 IU/L), γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (159 IU/L) and immunoglobulin G (2609 mg/dL). The titer of antinuclear antibodies was 1:320 and its pattern was homogeneous and speckled. Histological examination revealed plasma cell/lymphocyte infiltration and interface hepatitis in the portal tract. Based on these findings, a diagnosis of autoimmune hepatitis accompanied by IPH was made. After treatment with prednisolone (20 mg/day), liver functions were normalized immediately. Overlapping of IPH and AIH is extremely rare, but the present case is interesting considering the etiology of IPH because an autoimmune mechanism is thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of IPH.
- Diagnostic accuracy of lugol chromoendoscopy in the oesophagus in patients with head and neck cancer. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Rev Esp Enferm Dig 2013 Feb; 105(2):79-83.
Background and aim: patients with head and neck squamous cell malignancies have a higher risk of oesophageal squamous cell carcinomas. Lugol chromoendoscopy in oesophagus is a simple technique with a high diagnostic yield in premalignant lesions. The objective was to analyze its diagnostic accuracy in dysplasia and carcinoma of the oesophagus in high-risk patients.
Methods:prospective study from April/2008 to January/2012 using lugol chromoendoscopy with biopsies of suspicious lugol voiding areas > or = 5 mm. Patients with head and neck malignancies were included, except the ones with iodine allergy, oesophageal varices and contra-indications to standard endoscopy. The reference method was histopathology.
Results:89 patients were enrolled (mean age 62.8 + or - 13.3 years, 87 % men). Primary tumour was located in oropharynx in 37 (41.6 %), in oral cavity in 29 (32.6 %) and in the larynx in 23 (25.8 %) cases. 40.4 % patients had previous treatments and 87 % reported alcohol or tobacco addition. All exams performed without anaesthesia or complications. Nine suspicious lugol voiding areas were observed and biopsied. Histopathological analysis revealed high-grade dysplasia in 2 (2.2 %) and inflammation or normal findings in the others. The sensitivity and specificity for detecting high-grade dysplasia were 100 % and 92 % (95 % CI: 87-97), respectively. Diagnostic accuracy of the test was 92 % (95 % CI: 86-98).
Conclusion:lugol staining of the oesophagus during endoscopy seems to be a feasible, safe and justified procedure in high-risk populationas it enhances the detection of premalignant lesions.
- Merits of prophylactic sclerotherapy for esophageal varices concomitant unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma: Prospective randomized study. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Dig Endosc 2013 May 8.
BACKGROUND:Several clinical studies of prophylactic therapy for esophageal varices have led to the conclusion that prophylactic therapy is of no value, and it is generally not accepted in the Western world. However, this is not the case in Japan. The present study evaluated the efficacy of prophylactic endoscopic injection sclerotherapy (EIS) in patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and risky esophageal varices.
PATIENTS AND METHODS:Twenty-seven patients with 'likely-to-bleed' esophageal varices concomitant with unresectable HCC were randomly allocated to two groups. Thirteen patients underwent prophylactic EIS (EIS group), whereas the remaining 14 patients were observed conservatively (control group).
RESULTS:No bleeding from esophageal varices occurred in the EIS group during the entire period of this study, whereas in thecontrol group the cumulative bleeding rate was 44.8% in 6 months. Cumulative survival rates of patients in the EIS group and in the control group were 48.8% and 7.7% in 2 years, respectively. There was a statistically significant difference between the two groups in cumulative bleeding rate and survival rate (P < 0.01).
CONCLUSION:This prospective study demonstrated that prophylactic EIS could prolong the survival of the patients with esophageal varices concomitant with unresectable HCC. Prophylactic EIS for patients with unresectable HCC may be, in part, justified according to the present study.
- Spleen Stiffness in Patients With Cirrhosis in Predicting Esophageal Varices. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Am J Gastroenterol 2013 Apr 30.
OBJECTIVES:Screening for esophageal varices (EV) is recommended in patients with cirrhosis. Noninvasive tests had shown varying sensitivity (Se) and specificity (Sp) for predicting EV. Splenomegaly is a common finding in liver cirrhosis because of portal and splenic congestion. These changes can be quantified by transient elastography; hence, the aim of this study was to investigate the utility of spleen stiffness (SS) in evaluating EV in comparison with other noninvasive tests.
METHODS:We measured SS and liver stiffness (LS) by using FibroScan in 200 consecutive cirrhotic patients who met the inclusion criteria. Patients were also assessed by hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG), upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, LS-spleen diameter to platelet ratio score (LSPS), and platelet count to spleen diameter ratio (PSR).
RESULTS:Of 200 patients enrolled, 174 patients had valid LS and SS measurement, and 124 (71%) patients had EV (small, n=46 and large n=78). There was a significant difference in median LS (51.4 vs. 23.9 kPa, P=0.001), SS (54 vs. 32 kPa, P=0.001), LSPS (6.1 vs. 2.5, P=0.001), and PSR (812 vs. 1,165, P=0.001) between patients with EV and those without EV. LS ≥27.3 kPa had an Se of 91%, Sp of 72%, positive predictive value (PPV) of 89%, negative predictive value (NPV) of 76%, and a diagnostic accuracy of 86% in predicting EV. LSPS ≥3.09 had Se and Sp of 89% and 76%, respectively, and a PSR cutoff value of 909 or less had Se of 64%, Sp of 76%, and diagnostic accuracy of 68% in predicting EV. SS ≥40.8 kPa had Se (94%), Sp (76%), PPV (91%), NPV (84%), and diagnostic accuracy of 86% for predicting EV. SS was significantly higher in patients who had large varices (56 vs. 49 kPa, P=0.001) and variceal bleed (58 vs. 50.2 kPa, P=0.001). Combining LS+SS (27.3+40.8 kPa) had Se of 90%, Sp 90%, PPV 96%, NPV 79%, and a diagnostic accuracy of 90%. HVPG (n=52) showed significant correlation with SS (r=0.433, P=0.001), LSPS (r=0.335, P=0.01), and PSR (r=-0.270, P=0.05), but not with LS (r=0.178, P=0.20).
CONCLUSIONS:Measurement of SS can be used for noninvasive assessment of EV and can differentiate large vs. small varices and nonbleeder vs. bleeder.Am J Gastroenterol advance online publication, 30 April 2013; doi:10.1038/ajg.2013.119.
- [Primary biliary cirrhosis and pregnancy.] [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Gynecol Obstet Biol Reprod (Paris) 2013 Apr 26.
Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is a chronic cholestatic liver disease, asymptomatic during a protracted time, characterized by changes in the small-sized bile ducts near portal spaces. The etiology of PBC is undefined, but immunologic and environmental disturbances may contribute to the disease. Infertility is often associated with PBC and cirrhosis, but pregnancy may well occur in women with PBC and without cirrhosis or in some others with compensated cirrhosis. A pluridisciplinary approach including gastroenterologists and obstetricians is recommended. The patient must be closely monitored throughout her pregnancy with maternal and routine antenatal care. Medical treatment requires ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA). In non-cirrhotic UDCA-treated women with PBC, pregnancy often follows a normal course with vaginal delivery. In cirrhotic patients, UDCA must be continued during pregnancy, esophageal and gastric varices must be evaluated before pregnancy, and endoscopic ligature is recommended for treating large varices. Additionally, beta-blocker therapy may be associated, especially when variceal rupture occurred previously. Elective cesarean section is recommended in patients with large esophageal or gastric varices because of the potentially increased risk of variceal bleeding during maternal expulsive efforts in case of vaginal delivery.
- [FibroScan can be used to diagnose the size of oesophageal varices in patients with HBV-related cirrhosis]. [English Abstract, Journal Article]
- Zhonghua Shi Yan He Lin Chuang Bing Du Xue Za Zhi 2012 Dec; 26(6):470-3.
To study ability of FibroScan (FS) in diagnosing the size of oesophageal varices (OV) in patients with HBV-related cirrhosis.A total of 158 patients with HBV-related liver cirrhosis were enrolled in the study. The relation between the presence of OV assessed by endoscopy, and liver stiffness measurement by Fibroscan was studied, and ROC curves were drawn to assess the diagnostic ability of FS value.For the patients without OV, mild OV, moderate OV, and severe OV, their corresponding FS values were (21.7 +/- 9.9) kPa, (32.1 +/- 13.6) kPa, (42.3 +/- 20.0) kPa and (54.5 +/- 16.2) kPa, respectively. Significant difference was found among the groups (P < 0.001) and also between any two groups (P < 0.05). ROC curve for the diagnosis of with vs. without OV, <moderate vs. > moderate OV, and < severe vs. severe OV were 0.798 (95% CI: 73.1%-86.5%), 0.823 (95% CI: 74.5%-90.0%) and 0.879 (95% CI: 80.8%-95.0%), respectively, with corresponding FS cut-off value of 23.3 kPa, 31.5 kPa and 34.6 kPa.Liver stiffness measurement allows to predict the sizes of oesophageal varices in patients with HBV-related cirrhosis.