Digestive and liver disease : official journal of the Italian Society of Gastroenterology and the Italian Association for the Study of the Liver

Somatostatin, somatostatin analogues and other vasoactive drugs in the treatment of bleeding oesophageal varices.

PMID 15077917


Somatostatin and its analogues have been compared with a variety of other treatments for the treatment of variceal bleeding in cirrhotic patients. Meta-analyses of studies comparing somatostatin or octreotide with vasopressin or terlipressin have shown that somatostatin is somewhat superior to vasopressin and equivalent to terlipressin in controlling bleeding and has significantly fewer side effects; no difference in mortality was observed. Octreotide was somewhat better than vasopressin and terlipressin in controlling bleeding, with similar mortality. Meta-analysis of trials comparing somatostatin or octreotide with endoscopic sclerotherapy shows that both drugs are equivalent to sclerotherapy for bleeding control, early rebleeding and survival. Complications are much less frequent with drug treatment. Nine trials have compared endoscopic therapy with therapeutic regimens combining endoscopic treatment with somatostatin, octreotide or vapreotide. Meta-analysis show that the combined regimens increase the 5 days bleeding control rate of endoscopic treatments by over 20%, although there is no difference in mortality. Comparisons of somatostatin and octreotide with combined regimens of sclerotherapy + somatostatin and sclerotherapy + octreotide have shown that the combined regimens were better than drug treatments alone in controlling bleeding and preventing early rebleeding, while complications were significantly less frequent with drug therapy.

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