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Table of Contents
Vol. 23, No. 1, 2005
Issue release date: 2005
Section title: Review Article
Dig Dis 2005;23:18–29
(DOI:10.1159/000084722)

Variceal Bleeding: Pharmacological Therapy

Bosch J. · Abraldes J.G.
Hepatic Hemodynamics Laboratory, Liver Unit, IMD, Hospital Clinic, IDIBAPS, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
email Corresponding Author

Abstract

The complications of portal hypertension are totally prevented if hepatic venous pressure gradient is decreased below 12 mm Hg. Besides, if this target is not achieved, a 20% decrease in portal pressure from baseline levels offers an almost total protection from variceal bleeding. This sets the rationale for drug therapy to reduce portal pressure in portal hypertension. Pharmacological therapy to decrease portal pressure includes vasoconstrictors to decrease portal blood inflow, vasodilators to decrease hepatic resistance, and combination therapy. Oral agents, such as b-adrenergic blockers and organic nitrates, are used for long-term prevention of variceal bleeding, while parenteral agents, such as somatostatin (and analogues) and terlipressin, are used for the treatment of acute variceal bleeding.

© 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel


  

Key Words

  • Portal hypertension
  • Beta-adrenergic blockers
  • Cirrhosis

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Author Contacts

Dr. J. Bosch
Liver Unit, Hospital Clinic
C. Villarroel 170
ES–08036 Barcelona (Spain)
Tel. +34 93 227 5790, Fax +34 93 227 9856, E-Mail jbosch@clinic.ub.es

  

Article Information

Number of Print Pages : 12
Number of Figures : 3, Number of Tables : 0, Number of References : 130

  

Publication Details

Digestive Diseases (State-of-the-Art Clinical Reviews)

Vol. 23, No. 1, Year 2005 (Cover Date: 2005)

Journal Editor: Malfertheiner, P. (Magdeburg)
ISSN: 0257–2753 (print), 1421–9875 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/ddi


Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

Abstract

The complications of portal hypertension are totally prevented if hepatic venous pressure gradient is decreased below 12 mm Hg. Besides, if this target is not achieved, a 20% decrease in portal pressure from baseline levels offers an almost total protection from variceal bleeding. This sets the rationale for drug therapy to reduce portal pressure in portal hypertension. Pharmacological therapy to decrease portal pressure includes vasoconstrictors to decrease portal blood inflow, vasodilators to decrease hepatic resistance, and combination therapy. Oral agents, such as b-adrenergic blockers and organic nitrates, are used for long-term prevention of variceal bleeding, while parenteral agents, such as somatostatin (and analogues) and terlipressin, are used for the treatment of acute variceal bleeding.

© 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel


  

Author Contacts

Dr. J. Bosch
Liver Unit, Hospital Clinic
C. Villarroel 170
ES–08036 Barcelona (Spain)
Tel. +34 93 227 5790, Fax +34 93 227 9856, E-Mail jbosch@clinic.ub.es

  

Article Information

Number of Print Pages : 12
Number of Figures : 3, Number of Tables : 0, Number of References : 130

  

Publication Details

Digestive Diseases (State-of-the-Art Clinical Reviews)

Vol. 23, No. 1, Year 2005 (Cover Date: 2005)

Journal Editor: Malfertheiner, P. (Magdeburg)
ISSN: 0257–2753 (print), 1421–9875 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/ddi


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Review Article

Published online: 5/19/2005
Issue release date: 2005

Number of Print Pages: 12
Number of Figures: 3
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 0257-2753 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9875 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/DDI


Copyright / Drug Dosage

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

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