Objectives: N-butyl-2-cyanoacrylate has been reported to be effective for bleeding varices but is not available in the United States. We report the initial US experience with cyanoacrylate in this prospective trial and evaluate its safety, efficacy, and relative costs.
Methods: Patients with active or recent gastric variceal bleeding were eligible. Cyanoacrylate therapy was performed until variceal occlusion was achieved. Rebleeding was assessed at 72 h (acute phase), 6 wk (subacute phase), and 1 yr (chronic phase). Survival was assessed at 3 months and 1 yr. Cost analysis was performed comparing the first 17 patients to historical control patients not treated with cyanoacrylate.
Results: A total of 44 patients were enrolled, 37 with cirrhosis and seven with noncirrhotic portal hypertension (NCPH). In cirrhotic patients, rebleeding was seen in two of 37 (5%) at 72 h, one of 30 (3%) at 6 wk, and five of 28 (18%) at 1 yr. Survival without shunt at 3 months was 30 of 34 (88%) and at 1 yr was 24 of 31 (77%). In NCPH patients, rebleeding was seen in two of seven (29%) at 72 h. These patients received definitive therapy for NCPH after diagnosis. Mortality and costs were substantially higher in the non-cyanoacrylate group. The odds of death were greater by 7-fold in the non-cyanoacrylate group than within the cyanoacrylate group (95% CI = 1.18-41.36, p = 0.0318). At 3 months, there was a 3.18-fold difference (95% CI = 1.05-9.64, p = 0.0411) in accrued costs; at 1 yr, the difference was 2.55-fold (95% CI = 0.96-6.94, p = 0.0585). The cost-effective ratio was estimated as 108,237 US dollars/death averted, reflecting marked cost reduction with improved survival in the cyanoacrylate-treated group. This is believed to result largely from avoidance of shunt interventions.
Conclusions: Cyanoacrylate treatment of gastric varices is safe, clinically effective, and cost effective.