EUS-guided thrombin injection for management of gastric fundal varices
submitted 16 October 2017
accepted after revision 18 December 2017
25 May 2018 (online)
Background and study aims Cyanoacrylate glue is recommended first-line endoscopic therapy for gastric fundal varices but it is difficult to use and carries a risk of embolization. Thrombin is preferred by many in the UK, but its effectiveness can be difficult to establish at endoscopy and the rate of re-bleeding is higher. Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) can help assess variceal blood flow and has the potential to improve both targeting and effectiveness of injection therapy. Whereas there is already some data for its use with glue, little data currently exist in relation to its use with thrombin.
Patients and methods We present a series of patients treated with EUS-guided thrombin injection over the last 4 years. Thrombin was injected under EUS guidance with the intention of obliterating flow within the fundal varices. Outcomes reviewed included whether haemostasis was achieved, the dose of thrombin required for endosonographic variceal obliteration, the incidence of re-bleeding, and procedural related adverse events.
Results Eight patients received EUS-guided thrombin: 3 with active bleeding and 5 as elective prevention. In 2/3 (66 %) patients with active bleeding haemostasis was achieved after a single dose with complete variceal obliteration. 1/3 (33 %) had no alteration in blood flow despite 10 000 IU. None of the elective prevention group had further bleeding and obliteration was observed in 4/5 (80 %). A range of 600 to 10 000 IU of thrombin was used and there were no adverse procedure-related outcomes.
Conclusions Our results are promising and suggest that EUS-guided thrombin injection may have a role in managing bleeding from gastric fundal varices.
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