The role of endoscopy in secondary prophylaxis of esophageal varices.Clin Liver Dis. 2010 May; 14(2):307-23.CL
The rate of rebleeding from esophageal varices remains appreciably high after cessation of acute esophageal variceal hemorrhage. Many measures have been developed to prevent the occurrence of rebleeding. Endoscopic therapy plays a central role in the prevention of variceal bleeding. In the 1980s sclerotherapy played a pivotal role in the prevention of variceal rebleeding, but now yields to endoscopic variceal ligation. Compared with sclerotherapy, a lower incidence of complications and rebleeding is associated with banding ligation. On the other hand, beta-blockers are also noted to be able to reduce portal pressure, leading to the reduction of variceal rebleeding. The reduction of variceal rebleeding with beta-blockers plus nitrates is as effective as banding ligation. The combination of beta-blockers and endoscopic variceal ligation has proven to be more efficacious than banding ligation alone in the reduction of variceal rebleeding and is the treatment of choice for patients with failure in either medical or endoscopic therapy. Patients with repeated rebleeding despite endoscopic therapies may require transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic stent shunt or shunt operation as a rescue therapy.