Table of Contents
HPB Surgery
Volume 4, Issue 4, Pages 271-276

Are Child's Class C Patients With Acute Variceal Bleeding Worth Treating?

Royal Victoria Hospital, Grosvenor Road, N. Ireland, Belfast BT12 6BA, UK

Received 13 February 1991; Accepted 15 March 1991

Copyright © 1991 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the ten year period January 1980 to December 1989, 102 patients with Child’s Class C liver disease (Pugh's Modification) were admitted with acute variceal bleeding to one surgical unit with a policy of early sclerotherapy. There were 56 males and 46 females; the average age was 55 years (range 28–77). Fifty-three suffered from alcoholic cirrhosis. Four died before definitive treatment could be carried out, three from liver failure and one from uncontrolled bleeding. Of the remaining 98 patients, eight had urgent oesophageal transection with three deaths from hepatorenal failure; 90 had sclerotherapy with 19 hospital deaths, nine from recurrent bleeding, eight from liver failure often coupled with renal failure and two from respiratory complications. Of the 76 who survived to leave hospital, 52 received chronic injection sclerotherapy, 10 had elective oesophageal transection and 14 did not have further elective intervention for various reasons. Surviving patients have been followed up at a special Liver Clinic with minimum follow up of one year. Although no patient has yet survived ten years, the one, five and eight year survivals of 50%, 21% and 13% suggest that salvage of thdse patients is worthwhile.