Background: Propranolol has been shown to be effective in both primary and secondary treatment of variceal haemorrhage; most primary prevention trials have only included patients with large oesophageal varices.
Aim of the study: The aim of this study was to look at the effect of propranolol in the primary prevention of variceal bleeding and its long-term effects on mortality in unselected patients with chronic liver disease.
Methodology: Three hundred and nineteen patients were included in a double-blind parallel group study in three centres to receive propranolol 160 mg long-acting (LA) or placebo. Patients were followed up for a minimum of one year.
Results: There were eleven episodes of variceal bleeding and 38 deaths with no statistically significant difference in bleeding rates between the two treatment groups. Child's group and history of ascites were the most important prognostic factors determining the likelihood of early death and variceal bleeding respectively.
Conclusions: In this study we failed to demonstrate a significant effect of propranolol on first variceal bleeding or in prolonging survival in unselected patients with chronic liver disease. Our results, however, might have been influenced by the low event rate observed in these unselected group of patients and suggest that careful selection of patients who are most likely to benefit from propranolol is important.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 1994|
- PROPHYLACTIC SCLEROTHERAPY
- ENDOSCOPIC SCLEROTHERAPY
- RANDOMIZED TRIAL