Introduction: Given that β-blockers reduce the incidence of bacterial translocation in cirrhotic rats, the aim of this study was to compare the long-term incidence of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis in cirrhotic patients submitted to pharmacologic versus endoscopic treatment to prevent variceal rebleeding. Patients and methods: Two hundred and thirty patients with variceal hemorrhage were included in two previous randomized trials performed to compare the efficacy of medication (nadolol plus isosorbide mononitrate, n = 115) versus endoscopic treatment (n = 115) with sclerotherapy or ligation for the prevention of rebleeding. Results: The mean follow-up was 23 ± 1.4 months. The characteristics of the patients and the number of patients on long-term prophylaxis with norfloxacin were similar in both groups. The incidence of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis was lower in the medication group (9 versus 14.7%, P = NS). The probability of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis was also lower in the medication group (6 versus 12% at 1 year, 22 versus 36% at 5 years; P = 0.08), due to a significantly lower probability of community-acquired spontaneous bacterial peritonitis in this group (1 versus 10% at 1 year, 18 versus 32% at 5 years; P = 0.02). Patients with no hemodynamic response to therapy had a significantly higher probability to develop community-acquired spontaneous bacterial peritonitis during follow-up than hemodynamic responders (P < 0.03). Long-term probability of developing community-acquired spontaneous bacterial peritonitis is lower in patients submitted to pharmacologic treatment for preventing variceal rebleeding than in those submitted to endoscopic treatment. Conclusion: Long-term pharmacologic prophylaxis of variceal rebleeding contributes to the prevention of community-acquired spontaneous bacterial peritonitis. © 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
|Journal||European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2006|
- Intestinal bacterial overgrowth
- Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis
- Systolic blood pressure