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Korean J Gastroenterol. 2010 Sep;56(3):155-167. Korean. Review.
Lee CH .
Department of Internal Medicine, Catholic University of Daegu College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.

Esophageal varices(EV) are present in 40% and 60% of Child-Pugh A and C patients, respectively when cirrhosis is diagnosed. EV bleeding is a life-threatening complication of liver cirrhosis with a high probability of recurrence. Treatment to prevent first EV bleeding or rebleeding is mandatory. In small EV with high risk of bleeding, nonselective beta-blockers should be used for the prevention of first variceal bleeding. For medium to large EV, nonselective beta-blockers or endoscopic variceal ligation (EVL) may be recommended to high risk varices. But, nonselective beta-blockers are the first treatment option to non-high risk varices and EVL is an alternative when nonselective beta-blockers are contraindicated or not tolerated. For the prevention of rebleeding, a combination of nonselective beta-blockers and EVL may be the best option. A great improvement in the prevention of variceal bleeding has emerged over the last years. However, further therapeutic options that combine higher efficacy, better tolerance and fewer side effects are needed.

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