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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Survival following infusion of Pitressin into the superior mesenteric artery to control bleeding esophageal varices in cirrhotic patients.

Morbidity and mortality data from patients with bleeding esophagogastric varices treated with portosystemic shunts relate to the clinical status of the patient and to control of hemorrhage both in the immediate postoperative period as well as later. To obtain comparable data following selective infusion of pitressin into the superior mesenteric artery (SMA), records of 23 consecutive patients with cirrhosis, diagnosed by endoscopy as bleeding from varices and treated with SMA pitressin infusions, were reviewed. Twenty-four infusions were performed and hemorrhage was controlled in 12. Fourteen of the 23 patients subsequently underwent portosystemic shunts. Pitressin infusion controlled hemorrhage preoperatively in seven of these, and five survived one year or longer. The remaining seven, in whom bleeding was not controlled by pitressin, died postoperatively. One of the nine patients not undergoing a portosystemic shunt survived more than eight weeks after pitressin infusion. Vascular complications occurred in seven of 17 who died. These complications and the delay between institution of pitressin and operative therapy to control variceal hemorrhage appears to be a factor in the high mortality rate. Portosystemic shunt remains the best therapy for uncontrolled hemorrhage and to prevent recurrent bleeding from esophageal varices.[1]


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