Validity of Upper Gastro-Intestinal Endoscopic Screening in HCV Cirrhotic Patients Awaiting Antiviral Therapy


Background and Aim: The Egyptian Ministry of Health initiated a nationwide HCV treatment program with the newly developed oral antiviral therapies and formulated national guidelines for treatment allocation which gave favor for patients with advanced fibrosis and early cirrhosis. One of the recommendations for treatment was upper Gastro-intestinal (GIT) endoscopy. This study aimed at estimating the prevalence of varices among those patients and judging the validity of this national recommendation. Methods: This study was carried out at gastrointestinal endoscopy units, Zagazig University Hospitals through the year 2014. The epidemiologic, clinical features and endoscopic findings of patients undergoing preparation for HCV therapy were analyzed. Endoscopic classifications of esophageal and gastric varices were carried out after the Italian liver cirrhosis project and Sarin’s classification respectively. Results: Totally 1143 patients performed upper GIT endoscopy as preparation for HCV treatment. This comprised 22% of all patients undergoing upper GIT endoscopy over that year. There was a fourfold rise in percentage of patients undergoing endoscopy for sofosbuvir-based therapy in this year (22%) when compared to assessment for Interferon/Ribavirin combination therapy (5%) in the previous year. A total of 361 patients had no esophageal or gastric varices. Small sized (grade I), medium sized (grade II) and large sized (grade III) varices were reported in 301, 188 and 293 patients respectively. Thirty patients (2.6%) had gastric varices. The prevalence of varices was higher in Child B in comparison to Child A (statistically not significant, p = 0.243). Conclusion: Screening endoscopy for early cirrhotic patients awaiting oral anti-HCV therapy is valid.

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Mohamed, S. , Gaballah, B. and Emara, M. (2015) Validity of Upper Gastro-Intestinal Endoscopic Screening in HCV Cirrhotic Patients Awaiting Antiviral Therapy. Open Journal of Gastroenterology, 5, 191-199. doi: 10.4236/ojgas.2015.512029.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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