Background & aims: Recurrence of varices and rebleeding after endoscopic therapy is very common. Data on the prediction of recurrent varices after initial obliteration by endoscopic therapy are few. The aim of this study was to correlate the presence and the size of paraesophageal varices (PEVs) in patients after endoscopic variceal ligation with recurrent varices and rebleeding.
Methods: Forty patients who underwent endoscopic banding ligation for esophageal variceal bleeding were studied by endosonography within 4 weeks after obliteration of varices. PEVs were classified as none, small, or large (maximum diameter, > or =0.5 cm). Esophagoscopy and endosonography were then repeated every 6 months for up to 1 year.
Results: Two patients (5%) were not detected to have PEVs. Small and large PEVs were identified in 24 (60%) and 14 (35%) patients, respectively. During the follow-up period of 1-year, recurrent submucosal esophageal varices were detected in 24 patients, including 13 patients (93%) with large PEVs and 11 patients (46%) with no or small PEVs (P = 0.0019). Recurrent bleeding occurred in 6 patients (43%) with large PEVs and in 3 patients (12%) with small PEVs (P = 0.044).
Conclusions: Patients with large PEVs have a higher risk of developing recurrent varices and rebleeding.