Published online Nov 28, 2018. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i44.5025
Peer-review started: August 30, 2018
First decision: October 14, 2018
Revised: October 15, 2018
Accepted: November 13, 2018
Article in press: November 13, 2018
Published online: November 28, 2018
To examine the association between the timing of endoscopy and the short-term outcomes of acute variceal bleeding in cirrhotic patients.
This retrospective study included 274 consecutive patients admitted with acute esophageal variceal bleeding of two tertiary hospitals in Korea. We adjusted confounding factors using the Cox proportional hazards model and the inverse probability weighting (IPW) method. The primary outcome was the mortality of patients within 6 wk.
A total of 173 patients received urgent endoscopy (i.e., ≤ 12 h after admission), and 101 patients received non-urgent endoscopy (> 12 h after admission). The 6-wk mortality rate was 22.5% in the urgent endoscopy group and 29.7% in the non-urgent endoscopy group, and there was no significant difference between the two groups before (P = 0.266) and after IPW (P = 0.639). The length of hospital stay was statistically different between the urgent group and non-urgent group (P = 0.033); however, there was no significant difference in the in-hospital mortality rate between the two groups (8.1% vs 7.9%, P = 0.960). In multivariate analyses, timing of endoscopy was not associated with 6-wk mortality (hazard ratio, 1.297; 95% confidence interval, 0.806-2.089; P = 0.284).
In cirrhotic patients with acute variceal bleeding, the timing of endoscopy may be independent of short-term mortality.
Core tip: Most guidelines recommend performing endoscopy for acute variceal bleeding within 12 h. However, the evidence level for this recommendation is very low. We found that, after inverse probability weighting matching, compared to non-urgent endoscopy, performing endoscopy within 12 h of admission (so-called urgent endoscopy) was not associated with short-term prognosis, including overall survival at 6 wk or transplant-free survival at 6 wk. Rather, age, hepatocellular carcinoma, model for end-stage liver disease score, and degree of ascites were related to short-term mortality. These results indicate that, in cirrhotic patients with acute variceal bleeding, the timing of endoscopy does not appear to be associated with short-term prognosis.