Endosc Int Open 2015; 03(05): E409-E417
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1392552
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Low risk of bacteremia after endoscopic variceal therapy for esophageal varices: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Yi Jia
1   Division of Gastroenterology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, Texas, USA
Alok Dwivedi
2   Division of Biostatistics & Epidemiology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, Texas, USA
Sherif Elhanafi
1   Division of Gastroenterology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, Texas, USA
Arleen Ortiz
1   Division of Gastroenterology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, Texas, USA
Mohamed Othman
1   Division of Gastroenterology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, Texas, USA
Marc Zuckerman
1   Division of Gastroenterology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, Texas, USA
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

submitted 29 December 2014

accepted after revision 07 May 2015

Publication Date:
11 August 2015 (online)

Background and study aims: Endoscopic variceal ligation (EVL) and endoscopic variceal sclerotherapy (EVS) are the main therapeutic procedures for the emergency treatment and secondary prophylaxis of esophageal varices in cirrhotics. Post-endoscopic bacteremia has been reported after EVS and EVL, but data on the frequency of bacteremia are conflicting. This study aims to provide incidences of bacteremia after EVS and EVL in different settings through meta-analysis.

Methods: Only prospective or randomized studies were included in this meta-analysis. Binomial distribution was used to compute variance for each study. Random effects models were used as the final model for estimating the effect size and 95 % confidence interval. Adjusted effects were obtained using meta-regression analysis.

Results: Nineteen prospective studies involving 1001 procedures in 587 patients were included in the meta-analysis on the risk of bacteremia after EVS or EVL in cirrhotics with esophageal varices. The frequency of bacteremia after endoscopic variceal therapy was 13 %. The frequency of bacteremia after EVS (17 %) was higher than after EVL (6 %) with no statistically significant difference (P = 0.106). The frequency of bacteremia after elective EVS (14 %) was significantly less than after emergency EVS (22 %) (P < 0.001). The frequency of bacteremia after elective EVL (7.6 %) was not significantly different from after emergency EVL (3.2 %) (P = 0.850).

Conclusions: The incidence of bacteremia is low in patients with cirrhosis and varices after esophageal variceal therapy. These results are consistent with our current guidelines that antibiotic prophylaxis before endoscopic variceal therapy is only necessary for bleeding patients.

Supplemental Tables 3, 4

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