Background: To evaluate the efficacy of endoscopic variceal ligation (EVL) in prophylactic therapy for oesophageal varices, we performed a randomized prospective trial to compare the recurrence of oesophageal varices treated by EVL with those treated by endoscopic injection sclerotherapy.
Methods: Fifty patients with liver cirrhosis were divided into two groups at random, after informed consents were obtained, to receive prophylactic therapy for bleeding of oesophageal varices. Group 1 patients underwent sessions of sclerotherapy with 5% ethanolamine oleate used as the sclerosant. Group 2 patients underwent EVL followed by one or two sessions of sclerotherapy.
Results: During the 18 month follow-up period, both the recurrence rate in group 2 (56%) and the incidence of bleeding (20%) were significantly higher compared with group 1 (recurrence rate 16%, bleeding 0%).
Conclusions: This result indicates that EVL is not effective for prophylactic therapy for oesophageal varices in liver cirrhosis.