Predictive factors for rebleeding and death in alcoholic cirrhotic patients with acute variceal bleeding: a multivariate analysis.

Department of Surgery J45OMB, Groote Schuur Hospital, Anzio Road, Observatory 7925, Cape Town, South Africa.
World Journal of Surgery (Impact Factor: 2.35). 09/2009; 33(10):2127-35. DOI: 10.1007/s00268-009-0172-6
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Bleeding from esophageal varices is a leading cause of death in alcoholic cirrhotic patients. The aim of the present single-center study was to identify risk factors predictive of variceal rebleeding and death within 6 weeks of initial treatment.
Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed on 310 prospectively documented alcoholic cirrhotic patients with acute variceal hemorrhage (AVH) who underwent 786 endoscopic variceal injection treatments between January 1984 and December 2006. All injections were administered during the first 6 weeks after the patients were treated for their first variceal bleed.
Seventy-five (24.2%) patients experienced a rebleed, 38 within 5 days of the initial treatment and 37 within 6 weeks of their initial treatment. Of the 15 variables studied and included in a multivariate analysis using a logistic regression model, a bilirubin level >51 mmol/l and transfusion of >6 units of blood during the initial hospital admission were predictors of variceal rebleeding within the first 6 weeks. Seventy-seven (24.8%) patients died, 29 (9.3%) within 5 days and 48 (15.4%) between 6 and 42 days after the initial treatment. Stepwise multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that six variables were predictors of death within the first 6 weeks: encephalopathy, ascites, bilirubin level >51 mmol/l, international normalized ratio (INR) >2.3, albumin <25 g/l, and the need for balloon tube tamponade.
Survival was influenced by the severity of liver failure, with most deaths occurring in Child-Pugh grade C patients. Patients with AVH and encephalopathy, ascites, bilirubin levels >51 mmol/l, INR >2.3, albumin <25 g/l and who require balloon tube tamponade are at increased risk of dying within the first 6 weeks. Bilirubin levels >51 mmol/l and transfusion of >6 units of blood were predictors of variceal rebleeding.