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Surgical portosystemic shunts versus devascularisation procedures for prevention of variceal rebleeding in people with hepatosplenic schistosomiasis

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BACKGROUND: Hepatosplenic schistosomiasis is an important cause of variceal bleeding in low-income countries. Randomised clinical trials have evaluated the outcomes of two categories of surgical interventions, shunts and devascularisation procedures, for the prevention of variceal rebleeding in people with hepatosplenic schistosomiasis. The comparative overall benefits and harms of these two interventions are unclear.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the benefits and harms of surgical portosystemic shunts versus oesophagogastric devascularisation procedures for the prevention of variceal rebleeding in people with hepatosplenic schistosomiasis.

SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group Controlled Trials Register, CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, Science Citation Index Expanded, LILACS, reference lists of articles, and proceedings of relevant associations for trials that met the inclusion criteria (date of search 11 January 2018).

SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised clinical trials comparing surgical portosystemic shunts versus oesophagogastric devascularisation procedures for the prevention of variceal rebleeding in people with hepatosplenic schistosomiasis.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently assessed the trials and extracted data using methodological standards expected by Cochrane. We assessed risk of bias according to domains and risk of random errors with GRADE and Trial Sequential Analysis. We assessed the certainty of evidence using the GRADE approach.

MAIN RESULTS: We found two randomised clinical trials including 154 adult participants, aged between 18 years and 65 years, diagnosed with hepatosplenic schistosomiasis. One of the trials randomised participants to proximal splenorenal shunt versus distal splenorenal shunt versus oesophagogastric devascularisation with splenectomy, and the other randomised participants to distal splenorenal shunt versus oesophagogastric devascularisation with splenectomy. In both trials the diagnosis of hepatosplenic schistosomiasis was made based on clinical and biochemical assessments. The trials were conducted in Brazil and Egypt. Both trials were at high risk of bias.We are uncertain as to whether surgical portosystemic shunts improved all-cause mortality compared with oesophagogastric devascularisation with splenectomy due to imprecision in the trials (risk ratio (RR) 2.35, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.55 to 9.92; participants = 154; studies = 2). We are uncertain whether serious adverse events differed between surgical portosystemic shunts and oesophagogastric devascularisation with splenectomy (RR 2.26, 95% CI 0.44 to 11.70; participants = 154; studies = 2). None of the trials reported on health-related quality of life. We are uncertain whether variceal rebleeding differed between surgical portosystemic shunts and oesophagogastric devascularisation with splenectomy (RR 0.39, 95% CI 0.13 to 1.23; participants = 154; studies = 2). We found evidence suggesting an increase in encephalopathy in the shunts group versus the devascularisation with splenectomy group (RR 7.51, 95% CI 1.45 to 38.89; participants = 154; studies = 2). We are uncertain whether ascites and re-interventions differed between surgical portosystemic shunts and oesophagogastric devascularisation with splenectomy. We computed Trial Sequential Analysis for all outcomes, but the trial sequential monitoring boundaries could not be drawn because of insufficient sample size and events. We downgraded the overall certainty of the body of evidence for all outcomes to very low due to risk of bias and imprecision.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Given the very low certainty of the available body of evidence and the low number of clinical trials, we could not determine an overall benefit or harm of surgical portosystemic shunts compared with oesophagogastric devascularisation with splenectomy. Future randomised clinical trials should be designed with sufficient statistical power to assess the benefits and harms of surgical portosystemic shunts versus oesophagogastric devascularisations with or without splenectomy and with or without oesophageal transection.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Volume8
Pages (from-to)CD011717
ISSN1361-6137
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2018

ID: 56074746