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IntroductionIn liver cirrhosis, acute variceal bleeding (AVB) is associated with a 1-year mortality rate of up to 40%. Data on early or pre-emptive transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic stent-shunt (TIPSS) in AVB is inconclusive and may not reflect current management strategies. Randomised controlled trial of EArly transjugular intrahepatiC porTosystemic stent-shunt in AVB (REACT-AVB) aims to investigate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of early TIPSS in patients with cirrhosis and AVB after initial bleeding control.Methods and analysisREACT-AVB is a multicentre, randomised controlled, open-label, superiority, two-arm, parallel-group trial with an internal pilot. The two interventions allocated randomly 1:1 are early TIPSS within 4 days of diagnostic endoscopy or secondary prophylaxis with endoscopic therapy in combination with non-selective beta blockers. Patients aged ≥18 years with cirrhosis and Child-Pugh Score 7-13 presenting with AVB with endoscopic haemostasis are eligible for inclusion. The primary outcome is transplant-free survival at 1 year post randomisation. Secondary endpoints include transplant-free survival at 6 weeks, rebleeding, serious adverse events, other complications of cirrhosis, Child-Pugh and Model For End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) scores at 6 and 12 months, health-related quality of life, use of healthcare resources, cost-effectiveness and use of cross-over therapies. The sample size is 294 patients over a 4-year recruitment period, across 30 hospitals in the UK.Ethics and disseminationResearch ethics committee of National Health Service has approved REACT-AVB (reference number: 23/WM/0085). The results will be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. A lay summary will also be emailed or posted to participants before publication.Trial registration numberISRCTN85274829; protocol version 3.0, 1 July 2023.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ open gastroenterology

Publication Date





Liver Unit, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, Birmingham, UK


REACT-AVB trial collaborative group, Humans, Esophageal and Gastric Varices, Liver Cirrhosis, Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage, Portasystemic Shunt, Transjugular Intrahepatic, Severity of Illness Index, Stents, Quality of Life, Adolescent, Adult, State Medicine, Multicenter Studies as Topic, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, End Stage Liver Disease