The optimum treatment of gastric varices has still to be defined. Lesser curve gastric varices may be treated by injection sclerotherapy, but this has a limited role in the treatment of fundal gastric varices. Surgical intervention is commonly needed but carries a high mortality in patients with advanced liver disease. This study evaluated the use of thrombin for the treatment of gastric varices in 11 consecutive patients (nine with fundal, two with high lesser curve varices), identified as having bled from this site. Bovine thrombin (1000 U/ml) was injected intravariceally (mean volume 5.5 ml, range 2-10 ml) producing initial haemostasis in all 11 cases. Varices were considered thrombosed or obliterated in all patients after a median of two injection episodes (range 1-3). After a median follow up of nine months only one patient had rebled from a gastric varix. Thrombin may represent a valuable alternative injectate for the treatment of gastric varices.
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