[Oesophageal and fundic variceal bleeding]

De Gottardi, Andrea; Dufour, Jean-François (2006). [Oesophageal and fundic variceal bleeding]. Therapeutische Umschau, 63(5), pp. 295-9. Bern: Huber

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Oesophageal and fundic varices belong to the most frequent complications of cirrhosis and portal hypertension. Due to their significant morbidity and mortality, bleedings from oesophageal or fundic varices represent a challenge for the emergency medical team as well as for the gastroenterologist. The patient with a variceal bleeding should be accurately monitored and his/her hemodynamic parameters should be maintained stable with the administration of plasma expanders and blood units when indicated. An antibiotic prophylaxis in this setting--norfloxacin or ceftriaxon--has been demonstrated to significantly reduce morbidity and mortality. Additionally, the early administration of vasoactive compounds, such as terlipressin, somatostatin or octreotide, is associated with beneficial effects in reducing the bleeding. An upper gastrointestinal endoscopy should be generally performed within the first twelve hours from the beginning of the bleeding in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis and to provide an adequate treatment. Endoscopic procedures to control the bleeding include the rubber band ligation, the treatment of the varix with a sclerosing agent or the injection of tissue glue into the varix. In case of recurrent bleeding, beyond the above methods, different techniques, such as the transjugular porto-caval shunt, surgical shunt procedures, as well as embolisation of splanchnic blood vessels, represent additional therapeutic options. However, they are associated with very high mortality rates and their indication has to be discussed case by case by an interdisciplinary team of experts. Future therapies include the optimisation and the improvement of the current medical and endoscopic armamentarium, as well as the application of treatments to novel targets, such as the coagulation cascade.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gastro-intestinal, Liver and Lung Disorders (DMLL) > Clinic of Visceral Surgery and Medicine > Hepatology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > DBMR Forschung Mu35 > Forschungsgruppe Hepatologie
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > DBMR Forschung Mu35 > Forschungsgruppe Hepatologie

04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Clinical Pharmacology and Visceral Research [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

De Gottardi, Andrea and Dufour, Jean-François


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health










Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:45

Last Modified:

10 Oct 2016 19:38

PubMed ID:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/18544 (FactScience: 736)

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