Recommendation ID

Treating small oesophageal varices:- Do non-selective beta-blockers improve survival and prevent first variceal bleeds in people with cirrhosis that is associated with small oesophageal varices?

Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)

Why this is important:- Bleeding from oesophageal varices is a major complication of cirrhosis. Approximately half of patients with cirrhosis have oesophageal varices, and one-third of all patients with varices will experience bleeding at some point. Despite improvements in the management of acute haemorrhage in recent decades, the 6-week mortality associated with variceal bleeding remains at 10–20%. Risk of variceal bleeding increases with variceal size. Whether non-selective beta-blockers are of benefit as primary prophylaxis in people with cirrhosis and small oesophageal varices has not been adequately studied.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Cirrhosis in over 16s: assessment and management
Date issued
July 2016

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 31/07/2016