Background: Life-threatening bleeding caused by early spontaneous slippage of rubber bands has been described after variceal ligation in cirrhotic patients.
Aim: To determine the predictive factors of this complication in cirrhotic patients.
Methods: Among 605 patients, 21 patients (mean age 56.6 +/- 13.5 years) developed 23 spontaneous band slippages with bleeding on post banding ulcer, as confirmed by endoscopy. Cirrhosis was alcoholic in 13 patients (62%), post viral hepatitis in three (14%) and from other causes in five (24%). A case-control study was performed comparing 17 from these patients who presented the complication after a first ligation with 84 of the 584 controls who underwent first endoscopic variceal ligation without bleeding complication.
Results: Bleeding occurred 13.5 days +/- 7.3 (2-29) following ligation. Eleven patients died following the bleeding complication (52%). Using a multivariate analysis, previous upper variceal digestive bleeding [OR 12.07, 95%CI (2.3-63.43)], peptic oesophagitis [OR 8.9, 95%CI (1.65-47.8)], high platelet ratio index (APRI) score [OR 1.54, 95%CI (1.11-2.16)] and low prothrombin index [OR 0.54, 95% CI (0.31-0.94)] were independent predictive factors of bleeding.
Conclusions: Bleeding related to post-banding ulcer is a rare, but severe complication. The proposed predictive factors should be looked for and minimized before variceal ligation.