Endoscopic treatments for portal hypertension

Semin Liver Dis. 1999;19(4):439-55. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1007131.


Endoscopic treatments for bleeding gastroesophageal varices include injection sclerotherapy, variceal obturation with tissue adhesives, and variceal rubber band ligation. Acute injection sclerotherapy remains a quick and simple technique for the control of active bleeding from esophageal varices. Although few trials have been published so far, some evidence suggests that the early administration of vasoactive drugs (somatostatin, octreotide, or terlipressin) is safe and may increase the efficacy of endoscopic treatments. Banding ligation is the optimal endoscopic treatment for the prevention of rebleeding from esophageal varices. The use of tissue adhesives and thrombin as injectates to treat bleeding fundal gastric varices and esophageal varices not responding to vasoactive drugs or sclerotherapy is promising but needs further assessment by means of randomized controlled trials. As of today, endoscopic treatments are not recommended for the primary prophylaxis of variceal bleeding.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Catheterization
  • Endoscopy*
  • Esophageal and Gastric Varices / etiology
  • Esophageal and Gastric Varices / therapy*
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / therapy
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Portal / complications
  • Hypertension, Portal / therapy*
  • Ligation
  • Sclerotherapy / adverse effects
  • Sclerotherapy / methods
  • Tissue Adhesives


  • Tissue Adhesives