Endoscopic Primary Prophylaxis to Prevent Bleeding in Children with Esophageal Varices: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Fatima Safira Alatas, Ervin Monica, Lukito Ongko, Muzal Kadim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to compare endoscopy as primary versus secondary prophylaxis to prevent future bleeding in children with esophageal varices. Methods: A systematic literature search using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses method was conducted using the Scopus, PubMed, and Cochrane databases for relevant studies on the outcome of rebleeding events after endoscopy in primary prophylaxis compared to that in secondary prophylaxis. The following keywords were used: esophageal varices, children, endoscopy, primary prophylaxis and bleeding. The quality of eligible articles was assessed using the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale and statistically analyzed using RevMan 5.4 software. Results: A total of 174 children were included from four eligible articles. All four studies were considered of high-quality based on the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale. Patients who received primary prophylaxis had 79% lower odds of bleeding than those who received secondary prophylaxis (odds ratio, 0.21; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.07–0.66; I2=0%, p=0.008). Patients in the primary prophylaxis group underwent fewer endoscopic procedures to eradicate varices than those in the secondary prophylaxis group, with a mean difference of 1.73 (95% CI, 0.91–2.56; I2=62%, p<0.0001). Conclusion: Children with high-risk varices who underwent primary prophylaxis were less likely to experience future bleeding episodes and required fewer endoscopic procedures to eradicate the varices than children who underwent secondary prophylaxis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-238
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Child
  • Endoscopy
  • Hemorrhage
  • Primary prevention


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