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Relation of hemorrhage from varices to mortality in cirrhosis

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A study of 49 patients with Laennec's cirrhosis and hemorrhage from esophageal varices during a 5-year period revealed:

  1. 1.

    Massive hemorrhage was usually the underlying cause of death with initial or recurrent hemorrhage.

  2. 2.

    Current therapy with tamponade, massive transfusions, and supportive therapy has not affected the high mortality associated with initial hemorrhage from such lesions.

  3. 3.

    When available, such therapy appears to alter the mode of death, hepatic coma following hemorrhage being more common than exsanguination as the cause of death.

  4. 4.

    Ascites, plasma protein level below 7.0 Gm., or a hemoglobin below 7.0 Gm. on admission were usually associated in those patients that died.

  5. 5.

    Hemorrhage was the cause of death in 38 per cent of the 102 autopsied cases revealing Laennec's cirrhosis.

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The author wishes to express his gratitude to Col. B. H. Sullivan, Jr., and Lt. Col. W. H. Crosby for their help and guidance in the preparation of this paper.

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Sheehy, T.W. Relation of hemorrhage from varices to mortality in cirrhosis. Digest Dis Sci 2, 195–209 (1957). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02231128

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