Patrick J. McKiernan, Susan V. Beath, Suzanne M. Davison

A Prospective Study of Endoscopic Esophageal Variceal Ligation Using a Multiband Ligator

  • Gastroenterology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health

ABSTRACTBackgroundEndoscopic variceal band ligation (EVL) is the preferred method of treating variceal hemorrhage in adults. The need to reinsert the endoscope after reloading for each varix ligation has been a drawback. The Saeed multiband ligator allows ligation of multiple varices during a single insertion. The multibander has not been used previously in children.MethodsTwenty‐eight consecutive children were referred to a pediatric liver unit because of esophageal variceal bleeding from 1998 to 2000. Endoscopic variceal band ligation was performed at initial endoscopy and repeated monthly until varices were obliterated or were too small to ligate.ResultsResults are expressed as median (range). Age at EVL was 11 years (3 months to 16 years) and weight 30 kg (5.4–63 kg). Portal hypertension was caused by cirrhosis in 15 children. Endoscopic variceal band ligation was performed on 66 occasions with 4 bands applied per session. Ten children had active bleeding at initial endoscopy and all responded to EVL. Interval bleeding developed in 2 children before variceal ablation. Varices were obliterated in 26 of 28 patients after 2 sessions. During the 21‐month follow‐up (2 months to 3 years), six children have undergone elective liver transplantation and three have had mesoportal bypass procedures. Rebleeding developed in 2 of 26; 1 from recurrent esophageal varices that responded to repeat EVL and 1 from gastric varices. Following variceal ablation, 2‐year actuarial variceal recurrence risk was 40%.ConclusionsEndoscopic variceal ligation is highly effective in obliterating esophageal varices in children. The use of a multibander device for endoscopic variceal ligation is technically feasible and safe even in small children, and its use results in more rapid ablation of esophageal varices.

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