Prognosis in patients with cirrhosis and mild portal hypertension

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OBJECTIVE: Sixty to 70% of upper gastrointestinal bleeding episodes in patients with cirrhosis are caused by oesophageal varices. Prophylaxis is indicated in patients with varices and a hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) above 12 mmHg. The study of the natural history of patients with lower HVPG has been sparse. In this study, long-term survival and the risk of complications in mild portal hypertension were analysed. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Sixty-one patients with cirrhosis and HVPG below 10 mmHg were included in the study. Data were collected from medical files and National Patient Registries. Variceal bleeding, hepatic encephalopathy and death related to cirrhosis were registered. Thirty-nine patients were graded as Child class A, 19 as class B and 3 as class C. Median survival time was 11 years. RESULTS: Twenty-eight patients (46%) developed one or more complications: variceal bleeding in 10 (16%) and hepatic encephalopathy in 18 patients (30%). Twenty-three patients (38%) died from complications of cirrhosis. Two patients (3%) died from variceal bleeding, another two (3%) from gastrointestinal bleeding of unidentified source. Survival rate was significantly decreased compared with that in the background population. CONCLUSIONS: The frequency of complications in patients with mild portal hypertension is considerable, and guidelines for follow-up or medical prophylaxis are warranted. The risk of bleeding from oesophageal varices is low and bleeding-related deaths rare.
TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Udgave nummer12
Sider (fra-til)1446-53
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - 2006

ID: 18049970