Published online Mar 28, 2008. doi: 10.3748/wjg.14.1908
Revised: January 3, 2007
Published online: March 28, 2008
AIM: To study the hemodynamic effects of spironolactone with propranolol vs propranolol alone in the secondary prophylaxis of variceal bleeding.
METHODS: Thirty-five cirrhotics with variceal bleeding randomly received propranolol (n = 17: Group A) or spironolactone plus propranolol (n = 18: Group B). Hemodynamic assessment was performed at baseline and on the eighth day.
RESULTS: Spironolactone with propranolol caused a greater reduction in the hepatic venous pressure gradient than propranolol alone (26.94% vs 10.2%; P < 0.01). Fourteen out of eighteen patients on the combination treatment had a reduction in hepatic venous pressure gradient to ≤ 12 mmHg or a 20% reduction from baseline in contrast to only six out of seventeen (6/17) on propranolol alone (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Spironolactone with propranolol results in a better response with a greater reduction in hepatic venous pressure gradient in the secondary prophylaxis of variceal bleeding. A greater number of patients may be protected by this combination therapy than by propranolol alone. Hence, this combination may be recommended for secondary prophylaxis in patients with variceal bleeding.