J Clin Gastroenterol. 2023 Oct 12. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000001933. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Acute gastric variceal bleeding (AGVB) is a potentially fatal consequence of portal hypertension, accounting for 10% to 30% of all variceal bleeding. Although endoscopic cyanoacrylate glue injection is a common treatment for acute hemostasis, it has been linked to significant side effects. In the treatment of AGVB, there is limited evidence of the efficacy and relative safety of endoscopic human thrombin injection over glue injection.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 52 AGVB patients were randomized to receive either thrombin injection (25 patients) or glue injection (27 patients). The primary outcome was the incidence of any glue or thrombin injection-related post-therapy complications. Initial hemostasis, rebleeding, and mortality were all secondary end goals.
RESULTS: Both groups had comparable baseline data. Hemostasis of active bleeding at endoscopy was 100.0% (10/10) in the thrombin group and 87.5% (7/8) in the glue group (P=0.44). Treatment failure after 5 days occurred in 2 patients (6.1%) in the glue group compared with none in the thrombin group (P=0.165). Between 6 and 42 days after index bleeding, rebleeding occurred in 4 patients in the thrombin group compared with 6 patients in the glue group (P=0.728). In the thrombin group, none of the patients had post-treatment ulcers on gastric varices compared with 14.81% (4/27) that occurred in the glue group (P=0.045), a statistically significant observation. Overall, complications occurred in 4 (20%) and 11 (40.7%) patients in the thrombin and glue groups, respectively (P=0.105). Two patients in the glue group died.
CONCLUSION: To achieve successful AGVB hemostasis, endoscopic thrombin injection has been proven efficacious. However, glue injection may be linked to a higher rate of rebleeding and post-therapy gastric variceal ulceration compared with thrombin.