Background and study aims: Sclerotherapy may be useful in patients with bleeding gastric varices. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of two sclerosants in these patients.
Patients and methods: In a prospective nonrandomized trial, we performed single sclerotherapy for bleeding gastric varices using ethanolamine oleate (n = 24) or butyl cyanoacrylate (n = 29). The patients were followed for a mean of 14 months.
Results: The rate of initial hemostasis (no bleeding occurred for 48 hours after sclerotherapy) was significantly higher in the butyl cyanoacrylate group (93%) than in the ethanolamine oleate group (67%) (p = 0.014). The rate of initial hemostasis in cardiac variceal bleeding did not differ significantly between the ethanolamine oleate and butyl cyanoacrylate groups (83% vs. 100%, p = 0.140). In contrast, the hemostasis rate for fundal variceal bleeding was significantly higher in the butyl cyanoacrylate group than in the ethanolamine oleate group (88% vs. 50%, p = 0.023). Although the rebleeding rate did not differ between the two groups (30% vs. 25%, p = 0.921), the mortality rate was significantly higher in the ethanolamine oleate group (67% vs. 38%, p = 0.043). In addition, the incidence of complications in the butyl cyanoacrylate group was similar to that in the ethanolamine oleate group (46% vs. 41%, p = 0.745).
Conclusions: These results suggest that initial control of fundal varices is more difficult than it is with cardiac varices, but butyl cyanoacrylate is superior to ethanolamine oleate, and the survival advantage from butyl cyanoacrylate seems to be partially related to the increased early bleeding deaths in the ethanolamine oleate group.