August 5, 2010

Compliance With Practice Guidelines and Risk of a First Esophageal Variceal Hemorrhage in Patients With Cirrhosis

Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 8, Issue 8 , Pages 703-708, August 2010

Jayavani Moodley, Rocio Lopez, William Carey

published online 12 March 2010.


Background & Aims

Esophageal variceal hemorrhage (EVH) is a serious complication of cirrhosis, with 20% mortality per episode. The 2007 American Association for the Study of Liver Disease and American College of Gastroenterology practice guidelines regarding esophageal varices in patients with cirrhosis recommend screening and intervention to prevent EVH. We assessed practice guideline compliance and its impact on the rate of first EVH.

An institutional review board-approved retrospective chart review was conducted on a random sample of adult patients newly evaluated for cirrhosis at the Cleveland Clinic from 2003 to 2006 (n = 179). Exclusion criteria were a previous diagnosis of esophageal varices or EVH and/or treatment with β-adrenergic antagonists. Patients were followed for 23 months (range, 9–38 months). Conformity with practice guidelines and subsequent bleeding rates were determined. Observed bleeding rates were compared to the North Italian Endoscopy Club (NIEC) model.

Of the patients, 94% had a screening endoscopy, 80% within 6 months of the initial visit. Varices were present in 50% of the patients; 68% of all patients screened and 91% with large varices received a practice guideline-recommended treatment. Twelve patients (7%) had an episode of EVH; 82% of subjects without bleeding had their screening endoscopy within 6 months versus 50% of those with bleeding (P = .016). Actuarial likelihood of bleeding at 2 years was 13% versus 27% predicted by the NIEC model (P < .05).

Compliance with practice guideline recommendations is associated with reduction in first EVH in the first 2 years.

Keywords: Practice Guideline Compliance, Cirrhosis, Esophageal Varices, Hemorrhage

Abbreviations used in this paper: AASLD, American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, ACG, American College of Gastroenterology, BB, beta blocker, CPS, Child–Pugh Score, EGD, endoscopy, EV, esophageal varices, EVH, esophageal variceal hemorrhage, EVL, esophageal variceal ligations, IGV, isolated gastric varices, NIEC, North Italian Endoscopy Club, PG, practice guideline

Conflicts of interest The authors disclose no conflicts.

PII: S1542-3565(10)00228-4
© 2010 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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