Band ligation versus no intervention for primary prevention of upper gastrointestinal bleeding in adults with cirrhosis and oesophageal varices
Vadera S, Yong CWK, Gluud LL, Morgan MY
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. 2019;6:Cd012673
BACKGROUND The presence of oesophageal varices is associated with the risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Endoscopic variceal ligation is used to prevent this occurrence but the ligation procedure may be associated with complications. OBJECTIVES To assess the beneficial and harmful effects of band ligation versus no intervention for primary prevention of upper gastrointestinal bleeding in adults with cirrhosis and oesophageal varices. SEARCH METHODS We combined searches in the Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group Controlled Trials Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, Embase, LILACS, and Science Citation Index with manual searches. The last search update was 9 February 2019. SELECTION CRITERIA We included randomised clinical trials comparing band ligation verus no intervention regardless of publication status, blinding, or language in the analyses of benefits and harms, and observational studies in the assessment of harms. Included participants had cirrhosis and oesophageal varices with no previous history of variceal bleeding. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS Three review authors extracted data independently. The primary outcome measures were all-cause mortality, upper gastrointestinal bleeding, and serious adverse events. We undertook meta-analyses and presented results using risk ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and I(2) values as a marker of heterogeneity. In addition, we calculated the number needed to treat to benefit (NNTTB) for the primary outcomes . We assessed bias control using the Cochrane Hepato-Biliary domains; determined the certainty of the evidence using GRADE; and conducted sensitivity analyses including Trial Sequential Analysis. MAIN RESULTS Six randomised clinical trials involving 637 participants fulfilled our inclusion criteria. One of the trials included an additional small number of participants (< 10% of the total) with non-cirrhotic portal hypertension/portal vein block. We classified one trial as at low risk of bias for the outcome, mortality and high risk of bias for the remaining outcomes; the five remaining trials were at high risk of bias for all outcomes. We downgraded the evidence to moderate certainty due to the bias risk. We gathered data on all primary outcomes from all trials. Seventy-one of 320 participants allocated to band ligation compared to 129 of 317 participants allocated to no intervention died (RR 0.55, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.70; I(2) = 0%; NNTTB = 6 persons). In addition, band ligation was associated with reduced risks of upper gastrointestinal bleeding (RR 0.44, 95% CI 0.28 to 0.72; 6 trials, 637 participants; I(2) = 61%; NNTTB = 5 persons), serious adverse events (RR 0.55, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.70; 6 trials, 637 participants; I(2) = 44%; NNTTB = 4 persons), and variceal bleeding (RR 0.43, 95% CI 0.27 to 0.69; 6 trials, 637 participants; I(2) = 56%; NNTTB = 5 persons). The non-serious adverse events reported in association with band ligation included oesophageal ulceration, dysphagia, odynophagia, retrosternal and throat pain, heartburn, and fever, and in the one trial involving participants with either small or large varices, the incidence of non-serious side effects in the banding group was much higher in those with small varices, namely ulcers: small versus large varices 30.5% versus 8.7%; heartburn 39.2% versus 17.4%. No trials reported on health-related quality of life.Two trials did not receive support from pharmaceutical companies; the remaining four trials did not provide information on this issue. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS This review found moderate-certainty evidence that, in patients with cirrhosis, band ligation of oesophageal varices reduces mortality, upper gastrointestinal bleeding, variceal bleeding, and serious adverse events compared to no intervention. It is unlikely that further trials of band ligation versus no intervention would be considered ethical.
Terlipressin versus placebo or no intervention for people with cirrhosis and hepatorenal syndrome
Allegretti AS, Israelsen M, Krag A, Jovani M, Goldin AH, Schulman AR, Winter RW, Gluud LL
The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2017;6:CD005162
BACKGROUND Hepatorenal syndrome is a potentially reversible renal failure associated with severe liver disease. The disease is relatively common among people with decompensated cirrhosis. Terlipressin is a drug that increases the blood flow to the kidneys by constricting blood vessels. The previous version of this systematic review found a potential beneficial effect of terlipressin on mortality and renal function in people with cirrhosis and hepatorenal syndrome. OBJECTIVES To assess the beneficial and harmful effects of terlipressin versus placebo/no intervention for people with cirrhosis and hepatorenal syndrome. SEARCH METHODS We identified eligible trials through searches of the Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group Controlled Trials Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, Embase, and Science Citation Index Expanded, and manual searches until 21 November 2016. SELECTION CRITERIA Randomised clinical trials (RCTs) involving participants with cirrhosis and type 1 or type 2 hepatorenal syndrome allocated to terlipressin versus placebo or no intervention. We allowed co-administration with albumin administered to both comparison groups. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS Two review authors independently extracted data from trial reports and undertook correspondence with the authors. Primary outcomes were mortality, hepatorenal syndrome, and serious adverse events. We conducted sensitivity analyses of RCTs in which participants received albumin, subgroup analyses of participants with type 1 or type 2 hepatorenal syndrome, and Trial Sequential Analyses to control random errors. We reported random-effects meta-analyses with risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). We assessed the risk of bias based on the Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group domains. We graded the quality of the evidence using GRADE. MAIN RESULTS We included nine RCTs with a total of 534 participants with cirrhosis and ascites. One RCT had a low risk of bias for mortality and a high risk of bias for the remaining outcomes. All included trials had a high risk of bias for non-mortality outcomes. In total, 473 participants had type 1 hepatorenal syndrome. Seven RCTs specifically evaluated terlipressin and albumin. Terlipressin was associated with a beneficial effect on mortality when including all RCTs (RR 0.85, 95% CI 0.73 to 0.98; 534 participants; number needed to treat for an additional beneficial outcome (NNTB) 10.3 people; low-quality evidence). Trial Sequential Analysis including all RCTs also found a beneficial effect of terlipressin. Additional analyses showed a beneficial effect of terlipressin and albumin on reversal of hepatorenal syndrome (RR 0.63, 95% CI 0.48 to 0.82; 510 participants; 8 RCTs; NNTB 4 people; low-quality evidence). Terlipressin increased the risk of serious cardiovascular adverse events (RR 7.26, 95% CI 1.70 to 31.05; 234 participants; 4 RCTs), but it had no effect on the risk of serious adverse events when analysed as a composite outcome (RR 0.91, 95% CI 0.68 to 1.21; 534 participants; 9 RCTs; number needed to treat for an additional harmful outcome 24.5 people; low-quality evidence). Non-serious adverse events were mainly gastrointestinal, including diarrhoea (RR 5.76, 95% CI 2.19 to 15.15; 240 participants; low-quality evidence) and abdominal pain (RR 1.54, 95% CI 0.97 to 2.43; 294 participants; low-quality evidence).We identified one ongoing trial on terlipressin versus placebo in participants with cirrhosis, ascites, and hepatorenal syndrome type 1.Three RCTs reported funding from a pharmaceutical company. The remaining trials did not report funding or did not receive funding from pharmaceutical companies. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS This review suggests that terlipressin may be associated with beneficial effects on mortality and renal function in people with cirrhosis and type 1 hepatorenal syndrome, but it is also associated with serious adverse effects. We downgraded the strength of the evidence due to methodological issues including bias control, clinical
Terlipressin versus other vasoactive drugs for hepatorenal syndrome
Israelsen M, Krag A, Allegretti AS, Jovani M, Goldin AH, Winter RW, Gluud LL
The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2017;((9)):CD011532.
BACKGROUND Hepatorenal syndrome is defined as severe renal failure occurring in people with cirrhosis and ascites. Systematic reviews of randomised clinical trials found that, compared with placebo, terlipressin may reduce mortality and improve renal function in people with hepatorenal syndrome, but we need current evidence from systematic reviews on the benefits and harms of terlipressin versus other vasoactive drugs. OBJECTIVES To evaluate the beneficial and harmful effects of terlipressin versus other vasoactive drugs for people with hepatorenal syndrome. SEARCH METHODS We searched The Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group Controlled Trials Register, CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, and Science Citation Index Expanded; conducted manual searches of references in relevant literature; and wrote to experts and pharmaceutical companies (date of last search November 2016). SELECTION CRITERIA Randomised clinical trials comparing terlipressin versus any other type of vasoactive drugs for hepatorenal syndrome. We allowed albumin and other cointerventions if provided equally in the comparison groups. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS Three authors independently extracted data. The primary outcomes were mortality, hepatorenal syndrome (persistent hepatorenal syndrome despite treatment), and serious adverse events. We conducted meta-analyses and present the results as risk ratios (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). We performed sensitivity, subgroup, and Trial Sequential Analyses and evaluated bias control based on the Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group domains. MAIN RESULTS We included 10 randomised clinical trials with 474 participants. The trials compared terlipressin versus noradrenaline (seven trials), octreotide (one trial), midodrine and octreotide (one trial), or dopamine (one trial). All participants in both groups received albumin as cointervention. We classified two trials at low risk of bias and eight trials at high risk of bias in the assessment of mortality and all trials at high risk of bias for remaining outcomes. In five trials, investigators specifically stated that they did not receive funding from for-profit organisations. We had no information about the funding source from the remaining five trials.Terlipressin was not superior or inferior compared with other vasoactive drugs in regard to mortality when including the two trials with a low risk of bias (RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.63 to 1.36; 94 participants, very low quality evidence) or when including all 10 trials (RR 0.96, 95% CI 0.88 to 1.06; 474 participants; I(2) = 0%; very low quality evidence). One meta-analysis including nine trials suggested a beneficial effect of terlipressin on hepatorenal syndrome (RR 0.79, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.99; 394 participants; I(2) = 26%; very low quality evidence). Due to the high mortality of hepatorenal syndrome, the registration of other serious adverse events is uncertain, but comparing terlipressin and other vasoactive drugs we found no significant difference (RR 0.96, 95% CI 0.88 to 1.06; 474 participants; I(2) = 0%; very low quality evidence). Several trials did not report systematically of adverse events, but terlipressin seemed to increase the risks of diarrhoea or abdominal pain, or both (RR 3.50, 95% CI 1.19 to 10.27; 221 participants; 5 trials, I(2) = 0%). However, Trial Sequential Analyses found insufficient evidence to support or refute any differences between interventions for all outcomes. Considering reversal of hepatorenal syndrome, subgroup analyses on the type of other vasoactive drugs found that terlipressin was superior compared with midodrine and octreotide (RR 0.47, 95% CI 0.30 to 0.72) or octreotide alone (RR 0.56, 95% CI 0.33 to 0.96), but each subgroup only included one small trial. None of the remaining subgroup or sensitivity analyses found differences between terlipressin and other vasoactive drugs. We downgraded the evidence to very low quality because of the high risk of bias, imprecision, and the results of the Trial Sequential Analyses. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS This review found insufficient evidence to support
Tranexamic acid for upper gastrointestinal bleeding
Bennett C, Klingenberg SL, Langholz E, Gluud LL
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2014;11:CD006640.
Background Tranexamic acid reduces haemorrhage through its antifibrinolytic effects. In a previous version of the present review, we found that tranexamic acid may reduce mortality. This review includes updated searches and new trials.Objectives To assess the effects of tranexamic acid versus no intervention, placebo or other antiulcer drugs for upper gastrointestinal bleeding.Search methods We updated the review by performing electronic database searches (Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL),MEDLINE, EMBASE, Science Citation Index) and manual searches in July 2014.Selection criteriaRandomised controlled trials, irrespective of language or publication status.Data collection and analysis We used the standard methodological procedures of the The Cochrane Collaboration. All-cause mortality, bleeding and adverse events were the primary outcome measures. We performed fixed-effect and random-effects model meta-analyses and presented results as risk ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and used I2 as a measure of between-trial heterogeneity. We analysed tranexamic acid versus placebo or no intervention and tranexamic acid versus antiulcer drugs separately. To analyse sources of heterogeneity and robustness of the overall results, we performed subgroup, sensitivity and sequential analyses.Main results We included eight randomised controlled trials on tranexamic acid for upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Additionally, we identified one large ongoing pragmatic randomised controlled trial from which data are not yet available. Control groups were randomly assigned to placebo (seven trials) or no intervention (one trial). Two trials also included a control group randomly assigned to antiulcer drugs(lansoprazole or cimetidine). The included studies were published from 1973 to 2011. The number of participants randomly assigned ranged from 47 to 216 (median 204). All trials reported mortality. In total, 42 of 851 participants randomly assigned to tranexamic acid and 71 of 850 in the control group died (RR 0.60, 95% CI 0.42 to 0.87; P value 0.007; I2 = 0%). The analysis was not confirmed when all participants in the intervention group with missing outcome data were included as treatment failures, or when the analysis was limited to trials with low risk of attrition bias. Rebleeding was diagnosed for 117 of 826 participants in the tranexamic acid group and for 146 of 825 participants in the control group (RR 0.80, 95% CI 0.64 to 1.00; P value 0.07; I2 = 49%).We were able to evaluate the risk of serious adverse events on the basis of only four trials. Our analyses showed 'no evidence of a difference between tranexamic acid and control interventions regarding the risk of thromboembolic events.' Tranexamic acid appeared to reduce the risk of surgery ina fixed-effect meta-analysis (RR 0.73, 95% CI 0.56 to 0.95), but this result was no longer statistically significant in a random-effects meta-analysis (RR 0.61, 95% CI 0.35 to 1.04; P value 0.07). No difference was apparent between tranexamic acid and placebo in the assessment of transfusion (RR 1.02, 95% CI 0.94 to 1.11; I2 = 0%), and meta-analyses that compared tranexamic acid versus antiulcer drugs did not identify beneficial or detrimental effects of tranexamic acid for any of the outcomes assessed.Authors' conclusions This review found that tranexamic acid appears to have a beneficial effect on mortality, but a high dropout rate in some trials means that we cannot be sure of this until the findings of additional research are published. At the time of this update in 2014, one large study(8000 participants) is in progress, so this review will be much more informative in a few years. Further examination of tranexamic acid would require inclusion of high-quality randomised controlled trials. Timing of randomisation is essential to avoid attrition bias and to limit the number of withdrawals. Future trials may use a pragmatic design and should include all participants with suspected bleeding or with endoscopically verified bleeding, as well as a tranexamic pla