Treatment of gastric varices by endoscopic sclerotherapy using butyl cyanoacrylate: 10 years' experience of 635 cases

Chin Med J (Engl). 2007 Dec 5;120(23):2081-5.


Background: Gastric varices (GV) are life-threatening for patients with portal hypertension. Endoscopic injection with butyl cyanoacrylate (BC), the mainstay of the therapy for GV, has been reported to be effective for hemostasis of bleeding varices, but its efficacy in the obliteration of GV and impact on the survival of patients still needs clarification. Here we summarized our experience of 10 years' practice to evaluate the efficacy and safety of endoscopic therapy using BC for GV patients.

Methods: From January 1997 to April 2006, GV cases treated with endoscopic injection using BC were collected. The "sandwich method" and the "modified sandwich method" were used to inject BC intravascularly. Retrograde analysis was made on the data of treatment and follow-up.

Results: A total of 635 GV cases treated with endoscopic injection using BC were collected, most of them (90.2%) suffered from post-hepatitis cirrhosis. Emergency hemostasis was achieved in 139 out of 146 sessions (95.2%). Complications occurred in 32 cases (5.2%), including hemorrhage due to early expulsion of tissue glue (3.1%), septicemia (1%) and ectopic thrombosis (0.5%), such as spleen infarction. Endoscopic follow-up in 503 patients showed complete disappearance (76.9%), collapse (17.3%) or remnants (5.8%) of gastric varices. A total of 550 patients were followed up clinically for 3 to 115 months. Of these patients, 44 had recurrent bleeding (8.0%) and 44 died from hepatic failure, recurrent bleeding, hepatic carcinoma or other causes. The longest survival was 115 months, with a median survival of 25 months. Survival rates at 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 year were 95%, 92%, 90%, 83% and 81%, respectively.

Conclusions: Endoscopic sclerotherapy with BC is effective for the hemostasis of bleeding GV, as well as obliteration of GV which contributes to less rebleeding and better survival. The modified sandwich method may be useful to minimize ectopic embolism, which we speculated to result from excess iodized oil.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Enbucrilate / therapeutic use*
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal / methods*
  • Esophageal and Gastric Varices / mortality
  • Esophageal and Gastric Varices / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sclerotherapy / adverse effects
  • Sclerotherapy / methods*
  • Tissue Adhesives / therapeutic use


  • Tissue Adhesives
  • Enbucrilate