[Rubber-band ligation of esophageal and cardiac varices] Academic Article uri icon


  • Esophageal sclerotherapy was the treatment of choice for bleeding esophageal varices in the past decade. It is effective for treating acute variceal bleeding, as well as eradicating esophageal varices for secondary prevention of bleeding. However, in more than 20% of patients sclerotherapy involves complications, some of which are serious. The high complication rate suggested the development of a new method that should be at least as effective and as easy to perform as sclerotherapy, but with fewer complications and side-effects. Endoscopic variceal ligation was developed at the University of Colorado and described in 1986. It is reported to control active variceal bleeding in about 90% of patients, and to eradicate varices in about 80% of surviving patients. Complications are rare. We have adapted the method in our unit and here describe out preliminary experience in 11 patients.

publication date

  • February 1, 1993