Survival outcomes of patients with concomitant acute variceal bleeding and acute coronary syndrome, and the role of antiplatelet agents: an institutional experience from a lower middle-income country

Document Type



Medical College Pakistan; Gastroenterology


Background: There is strong evidence demonstrating the incidence of Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) among patients with cirrhosis, with the initiation of antiplatelet therapy being subject to debate due to an increased risk of bleeding. This study aimed to determine mortality among patients presenting with concomitant Acute Variceal Bleeding (AVB) and ACS at Index admission. Furthermore, the recurrence of AVB and ACS among patients discharged with or without antiplatelet therapy was determined.
Methods: This retrospective study was conducted at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan on patients ≥ 18 years of age admitted to our ER with concomitant ACS and AVB between January 2002 to December 2017. Follow-up for 6 months or till death (if < 6 months), was observed, to help determine the incidence of recurrent AVB and ACS. The incidence of AVB and ACS was then compared amongst patient groups based on the usage of anti-platelet drugs on discharge.
Results: A total of 29 patients were included, with a mean age of 58.7 ± 11.0 years. Seven patients died on admission, having worse underlying liver disease. No mortality was reported among the remaining 22 patients. All 22 patients underwent surveillance endoscopy with variceal band ligation until obliteration, as needed. Only 7 patients from the surviving cohort received antiplatelet therapy. After 6.05 ± 1.1 months of follow-up, 1/22 (4.5%) developed recurrent AVB and 2/22 (9.1%) developed cardiovascular events. Importantly, there was no significant difference in the incidence of recurrent AVB (P = 1.000) and ACS (P = 0.091), depending on the use of antiplatelet therapy.
Conclusion: Concomitant AVB and ACS is a severe disorder with increased mortality among cirrhotic patients at presentation. The incidence of AVB does not seem to exacerbate with the use of antiplatelet agents, provided successful obliteration of varices is achieved using elective band ligation


Pagination are not provided by the author/publisher

Publication (Name of Journal)

BMC gastroenterology