oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Endoscopic sclerotherapy in Zimbabwe

Volume 39, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



Fifty consecutive patients presenting with upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage caused by oesophageal varices were subjected to endoscopic sclerotherapy during the period April 1989 to December 1991. Portal hypertension was caused by alcoholic liver cirrhosis in 22 (44 pc) , Hepatitis B induced liver cirrhosis in seven (14 pc) cryptogenic liver cirrhosis in three (six pc), bilharzial portal fibrosis in 17 (34 pc) and extrahepatic portal obstruction in one (two pc). Acute bleeding was controlled in 12 out of 13 patients, five of whom with a fresh bleed and eight who rebled while on the endoscopic sclerotherapy regimen. All patients were treated on a weekly sclerotherapy regimen. Reduction in variceal size of two or more grades was achieved in all 30 patients who had completed at least four or more endoscopic sclerotherapy courses with total eradication of varices in 27 (9O pc). Three patients died. All deaths were caused by progressive hepatic encephalopathy. Complications usually seen were retrosternal pain, fever, dysphagia and oesophageal ulceration. There were no fatal complications. The study shows that endoscopic sclerotherapy is effective not only in controlling acute bleeding but also in preventing rebleeding. We recommend a weekly schedule for the early eradication of varices.

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