Reuters Health Information (2005-11-24): Bacterial infection common in patients with variceal bleeding
Bacterial infection common in patients with variceal bleeding
Last Updated: 2005-11-24 10:15:08 -0400 (Reuters Health)
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Bacterial infection is
often encountered in patients with liver cirrhosis hospitalized because
of variceal bleeding or for other indications, Czech researchers
report, and antibiotic therapy is indicated in this setting.
Dr. Jan Lata of University Hospital Brno and colleagues note in the
November issue of the European Journal of Gastroenterology and
Hepatology that bleeding from esophageal varices is a frequent
complication of cirrhosis and has a high mortality rate. Bacterial
infection may be among possible precipitating factors, and the
researchers sought to determine the prevalence of such infection and
the most effective treatment route.
The team studied data on 48 cirrhotic patients admitted because of
variceal bleeding associated with portal hypertension and another 48
control patients with cirrhosis admitted for other reasons.
Bleeding was treated and the patients were also randomized to
therapy with oral norfloxacin or intravenous ampicillin and sulbactam.
Bacterial infection rates were high in both groups but was higher in
patients with bleeding (63% versus 54.2%). More bleeding patients had
positive blood cultures than did controls (17.3% versus 8.6%). This was
also true of throat smear findings (36.9% versus 17.3%).
There were no differences in mortality between patients given
different antibiotic regimens. However, the researchers conclude that
"antibiotic therapy is fully indicated due to the high number of
positive bacterial findings."
Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2005;17:1105-1110.