, Volume 72, Issue 9, pp 653-659

Octreotide versus terlypressin in acute variceal hemorrhage in liver cirrhosis Emergency control and prevention of early rebleeding

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Sixty patients with endoscopically confirmed active variceal bleeding entered a randomized controlled clinical trial aimed at comparing the efficacy of octreotide vs. terlypressin in the control of acute variceal hemorrhage (period I, 24 h) and in the prevention of early rebleeding (period II, 6 days). Of the sixty 30 received octreotide (period I, 100 μg bolus followed by continuous intravenous infusion at 25 μg/h; period IT, 100 μg t.i.d. subcutaneously), and 30 received terlypressin (period I, 2 mg intravenous bolus every 4 h; period II, 2nd day, 2 mg every 6 h; from 3th to 7th days, 1 mg every 6 h). Control of bleeding was achieved in 23 (76.6%) patients receiving octreotide and in 16 (53%) treated with terlypressin (NS); none of these patients suffered rebleeding during treatment. No significant difference in mortality was observed between the two groups during the hospitalization period. Complications due to therapy were lower with octreotide than with terlypressin (P < 0.01). Under the same effectiveness conditions the cost/benefit ratio must be taken into account.

Correspondence to: F. Fiaccadori