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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2009 February;100(1):115-21


language: English

Cyanoacrylate glue in the management of gastric varices

Consolo P. 1, Luigiano C. 1, Giacobbe G. 1, Scaffidi M. G. 1, Pellicano R. 2, Familiari L. 1

Department of Medicine and Pharmacology University Hospital G. Martino, Messina, Italy 2Department of Gastro-Hepatology Molinette Hospital, Turin, Italy


Gastric varices (GV) are less common than esophageal varices, but their management represents a particular challenge. When bleeding occurs is usually severe, requiring immediate supportive intensive care and has a high mortality rate. The best management of GV is supposed to be with a multidisciplinary approach and close cooperation between gastroenterologists, interventional radiologists and the surgical team. Many studies in literature reported high success rates with intravariceal injection of cyanoacrylate in acute GV bleeding. This agent obliterates the variceal lumen by solidification within the vein and more than 80% primary obliteration rates are achieved. In comparison with other endoscopic techniques as variceal band ligation or sclerotherapy with ethanolamine oleate, alcohol and sodium tetradecyl sulphate, cyanoacrylate has shown to be more effective, with a decrease in complications and mortality rates. The cyanoacrylate has shown effective also in the secondary prophylaxis with an incidence of re-bleeding that ranges between 15% and 30%. Actually, there is no scientific evidence supporting the application of cyanoacrylate in primary prophylaxis of bleeding from GV. Significant procedural, septic and embolic complications have been reported with cyanoacrylate glue injection. In conclusion, the endoscopic treatment with cyanoacrylate of actively bleeding GV, as well as the prophylaxis of the re-bleeding, is a safe and effective procedure and should be considered as a first-line therapy, whenever available.

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