Thrombin is an effective and safe therapy in the management of bleeding gastric varices: A real-world experience

Sarah-Louise Gillespie, Norma C McAvoy, Diana Yung, Alexander Robertson, John Plevris, Peter C Hayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Variceal haemorrhage is a severe complication of liver disease with high mortality. Human recombinant thrombin has gained popularity in the management of variceal haemorrhage. We report on the use of thrombin for gastric and ectopic varices at a regional tertiary care centre. This was a retrospective observational study. Patients with portal hypertension who received endoscopic injection of recombinant thrombin were identified and data collected on haemostasis and rebleeding rates, complications and mortality. Patients were grouped by indication for thrombin injection: gastric/oesophageal/ectopic varices and endoscopic band ligation (EBL)-induced ulceration. 155 patients (96M/59F, mean age 58.3 years) received endoscopic thrombin injection. Mean volume of thrombin injected at index endoscopy was 9.5 ml/2375IU. Initial haemostasis was achieved in 144 patients (92.9%). Rebleeding occurred in a total of 53 patients (36.8%) divided as follows: early rebleeding (<5 days from index endoscopy)—26 patients (18%); rebleeding within 30 days—42 patients (29.1%); delayed rebleeding (> 30 days)—11 patients (7.6%). There was statistically significant difference in rate of initial haemostasis between Child-Pugh A/B patients vs Child-Pugh C (p = 0.046). There was no significant difference in rebleeding rates between different indication groups (p = 0.78), by presence of cirrhosis or by Child-Pugh Score. All-cause mortality at 6 weeks was 18.7%; 1-year mortality 37.4% (median follow-up 48 months). There was no significant difference in mortality between groups (p = 0.37). No significant adverse events or complications were reported. Thrombin is effective and safe for gastric varices and other portal-hypertension-related bleeding including oesophageal varices, ulcers secondary to EBL and ectopic varices. View Full-Text
Original languageEnglish
Article number785
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • thrombin
  • varices
  • portal hypertension
  • cirrhosis


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