Ligation was performed by two experienced endoscopists who had performed more than 10 sessions of such procedures before the start of this study. Each varix was ligated with one to two rubber bands. Ligations with Selleckchem CP-673451 two to four rubber bands were employed in each session. Further sessions of treatment were performed at intervals of 4 weeks until all varices were obliterated or too small to be ligated. After obliteration, patients in the EVL group underwent follow-up endoscopy every 6 months. Repeat EVL was performed when varices recurred.
Among both groups, nadolol (E.R. Squibb) was administered from the start of enrollment. Nadolol was continued until the end of the study or death. Among the Combined group, nadolol was initiated 2 weeks before the first session of EVL. The dose of nadolol initially given was 40 mg once daily and then adjusted according to the dosage that reduced the resting pulse rate up to 25% or 55 beats per minute. Nadolol was usually administered once per day and compliance was assessed by a reduction of pulse rate and by quantifying the amount of tablets consumed. Patients in both groups were advised to receive follow-ups of abdominal sonogram, serum alpha-fetoprotein, and biochemistry at 3-month intervals. All patients suspected of upper gastrointestinal bleeding received emergency endoscopy within 12 hours of presentation. Supportive measures including blood transfusions,
vasoconstrictor infusion, and lactulose were administered Galunisertib ic50 to patients suspected of bleeding from esophageal varices. Esophageal variceal bleeding was defined as the appearance of hematemesis or melena, bleeding source was proven to originate from esophageal varices by emergency endoscopy, and requiring blood transfusion of greater than 2 units to maintain stable vital signs. Emergency EVL and prophylactic antibiotics with cefazolin were administered within 24 hours of esophageal variceal bleeding. Elective EVL for prevention of rebleeding was employed for check details patients of both groups if patients agreed. Quantitative data were summarized as means ± standard deviation, except for information on
the lengths of follow-up, which were summarized by median values. Quantitative variables were compared using Student’s t test and qualitative variables were compared using the chi-square test, employing Yates correction for continuity and Fisher’s exact test where appropriate. Kaplan-Meier estimation was applied to examine the time to first occurrence of variceal bleeding and the time to death. The log rank test was used to examine the variation of bleeding episodes and survival rate. Cox’s regression analysis was used to detect possible prognostic variables other than treatment modality on the bleeding and survival rates. All hypothesis tests were conducted against a two-sided alternative, where appropriate. Analyses were based on intention to treat and were performed using SPSS 10.0.5 (Chicago, IL).