Predictors of early re-bleeding and mortality after acute variceal haemorrhage

Arab J Gastroenterol. 2013 Jun;14(2):63-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajg.2013.05.001. Epub 2013 Jun 10.


Background and study aims: Oesophageal variceal haemorrhage is a devastating complication of portal hypertension (PHT). This study was done to determine the risk factors for re-bleeding within 5 days and mortality up to 6 weeks in patients with cirrhosis and acute variceal haemorrhage (AVH).

Patients and methods: The study included 100 patients presenting with haematemesis and/or melena due to bleeding varices. All patients were subjected to full clinical assessment, routine laboratory investigations, calculation of the Child-Turcotte-Pugh (CTP) and model for end stage liver disease (MELD) scores, abdominal ultrasound and emergency upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. The patients were followed up since admission and up to 6 weeks for the occurrence of rebleeding (in the first 5days) and mortality (up to 6weeks) after the acute attack.

Results: The patients were grouped into three groups: Group I: patients who survived more than 6 weeks following endoscopic management and did not rebleed during this period (75 patients). Group II: patients who died within 6 weeks of AVH (10 patients). Group III: patients who rebled or died within 5 days of AVH (15 patients). The mean MELD score was significantly higher in group II (18.29±0.66) and group III (18.73±0.89) as compared to group I (12.8±2.1) (p=0.001). Active bleeding at time of endoscopy was present in 8% of group I, 70% of group II and 53.3% of group III and the difference was statistically significant (p=0.003), while white nipple sign was present in 10.6% of group I, 90% of group II and 73.3% of group III and the difference was statistically significant (p=0.05). In conclusion high MELD score (>18), presence of active bleeding or white nipple sign at time of endoscopy are significant predictors for early rebleeding and mortality after AVH.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Esophageal and Gastric Varices / complications
  • Esophageal and Gastric Varices / mortality*
  • Esophageal and Gastric Varices / therapy
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / mortality*
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / therapy
  • Hemostasis, Endoscopic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Sclerotherapy