Table 1 Clinical features of patients with acute variceal haemorrhage
Number of patients256
Gender (% male)186 (73%)
    Caucasian167 (65%)
    African-American41 (16%)
    Hispanic44 (17%)
    Other4 (2%)
Age (years) (IQR)51 (45–56)
CTP class, n (%)
    A64 (25%)
    B/C192 (75%)
MELD score (IQR)12 (8–17)
Bleeding source, n (%)
    Oesophageal varices207 (81%)
    Gastric varices16 (6%)
    Both oesophageal and gastric varices33 (13%)
Clinical presentation of bleeding, n (%)
    Melaena50 (19%)
    Haematemesis71 (28%)
    Both melaena and haematemesis132 (52%)
    Neither melaena nor haematemesis3 (1%)
Aetiology of liver disease, n (%)
    Viral (HCV and/or HBV)105 (41%)
    Alcohol116 (45%)
    Other35 (14%)
Haemoglobin concentration at presentation (g/dl) (IQR)9.2 (7.7–11.2)
Systolic blood pressure at presentation (mm Hg) (IQR)114 (98–132)
Aspartate aminotransferase level (U/l) (IQR)73 (48–119)
Alanine aminotransferase level (U/l) (IQR)38 (26–59)
Serum sodium level (mmol/l) (IQR)138 (135–140)
Presence of ascites, n (%)132 (52%)
Patients requiring blood transfusion within the first 24 h, n (%)203 (81%)
Units of PRBCs transfused within the first 24 h (IQR)*3 (2–5)
Patients with high risk endoscopic stigmata of variceal bleeding, n (%)†241 (95%)
Patients with active variceal bleeding at index endoscopy, n (%)‡71 (28%)
Endoscopic therapy applied, n (%)§
    Variceal band ligation184 (72%)
    Sclerotherapy28 (11%)
  • Values given are median values (IQR), unless otherwise indicated.

  • *PRBCs were 250 ml per unit. †Endoscopic high risk stigmata include: presence of an adherent clot or white nipple or red signs on varices; or the presence of varices and blood in the stomach; or the presence of large varices in the setting of a patient presenting with haematemesis. ‡Active variceal bleeding is defined as visible oozing or spurting of blood. §All study participants underwent endoscopy, although data regarding the specific endoscopic intervention applied were not recorded in 44.

  • CTP, Child–Turcotte–Pugh; HBV hepatitis B virus; HCV, hepatitis C virus; IQR, interquartile range; MELD, Model for End-stage Liver Disease; PRBCs, packed red blood cells.