Evaluation of endoscopic variceal ligation in prophylactic therapy for bleeding of oesophageal varices: a prospective, controlled trial compared with endoscopic injection sclerotherapy

J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1999 Mar;14(3):241-4. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1746.1999.01841.x.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Esophageal and Gastric Varices / epidemiology
  • Esophageal and Gastric Varices / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / epidemiology
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / prevention & control
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / therapy*
  • Hemostasis, Endoscopic*
  • Humans
  • Ligation
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oleic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Sclerosing Solutions / therapeutic use*
  • Time Factors


  • Oleic Acids
  • Sclerosing Solutions
  • ethanolamine oleate