Efficacy of carvedilol versus propranolol versus variceal band ligation for primary prevention of variceal bleeding.Hepatol Int 2018; 12(1):75-82HI
BACKGROUND AND AIMS
Band ligation and propranolol are the current therapies for primary prevention of variceal bleeding. Carvedilol is a rising nonselective beta-blocker used for reducing portal pressure with favorable outcome. The aim of this study to assess the efficacy of carvedilol, propranolol, and band ligation for primary prevention of variceal bleeding based on the effect of each regimen on progression of Child score and portal hypertensive gastropathy after 1 year.
The study included 264 cirrhotic patients with medium/large-sized varices who were candidates for primary prophylaxis of variceal bleeding. Patients were randomly divided into three groups: group I: band ligation; group II: propranolol; group III: carvedilol.
Group I showed higher success rate of 75 %, followed by group III with 70.2 % and group II with 65.2 %. Risk of bleeding was comparable between the three groups, with group II carrying the highest rate of complications (34.7 %) followed by group III (14.2 %) and finally group I (5.7 %). After 1 year of follow-up, Child score did not improve in any of the studied groups, while portal hypertensive gastropathy significantly increased in group I but decreased in groups II and III.
Band ligation is the best treatment option for primary prevention of variceal bleeding with minimal complications. Carvedilol is a good pharmaceutical alternative medicine to propranolol with lesser side-effects. Progress of liver disease as represented by Child score is not affected by any of the primary variceal prophylactic regimens, although medical treatment reduces portal hypertensive gastropathy. Choice of treatment depends on patient will, compliance with treatment, and endoscopist competence.