, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 321-326

Evaluation of magnetic resonance angiography in detection of gastric varices

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We evaluated the detection of gastric varices, inflowing blood vessels to gastric varices, and outflowing blood vessels from gastric varices via magnetic resonance (MR) angiography in 31 patients with gastric varices. Twenty-four patients had F2 type varices and 7 had F3 type, classified according to the Japanese Research Society for Portal Hypertension. Seventeen patients had cardiofornical varices, and 14 had fundal varices. All patients were examined with an MR system operating at 1.5 T. MR angiography was performed using the two-dimensional time-of-flight method. With MR angiography, the imaging of gastric varices was clearly delineated in 28 of the 31 patients (90.3%). From the images of MR angiography, flow direction itself cannot be determined. The outflowing blood vessels of gastric varices were reported to be the gastro-renal shunt and the subphrenic vein, and angiographic findings have shown the inflowing blood vessels to be the left gastric vein (LGV), the short gastric vein (SGV), and the posterior gastric vein (PGV). In 25 of the 31 patients (80.7%), the outflowing blood vessels from gastric varices were detected (gastro-renal shunt in 24; subphrenic vein in 1). MR angiography provided clear images of the inflowing blood vessels to gastric varices in 18 of the 31 patients (58.1%). These inflowing vessels were categorized as SGV in 7 patients, LGV in 5, LGV and SGV in 4, and LGV and PGV in 2. We suggest that MR angiography be used as a routine method for detecting and diagnosing collateral veins in patients with gastric varices.

Received: September 2, 1998/Accepted: December 18, 1998