, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 59-63
Date: 15 Mar 2007

Efficacy of color Doppler ultrasonography for the diagnosis of duodenal varices successfully treated with percutaneous transhepatic obliteration

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We treated a 74-year-old woman who complained of tarry stool. Neither endoscopic examination of the upper gastrointestinal tract nor colonoscopy revealed any finding indicative of bleeding, and 99mTc-HSA-D pool scintigraphic imaging showed no accumulation of blood in the digestive tract. Small tortuous collateral veins were observed on computed tomography (CT) in the distal third portion of the duodenum. Color Doppler ultrasonography obtained color flow images of varices in the distal third portion of the duodenum indicating turbulent flow, and color flow imaging showed the outflow vessel from duodenal varices. Duodenoscopy revealed tortuous varices, with erosions and blue in appearance, in the same area. Percutaneous transhepatic portography was carried out 18 days after the treatment of ascites, and hepatofugal blood flow was confirmed in the pancreatic duodenal vein originating near the junction between the splenic and inferior mesenteric veins with the passage of contrast medium into the duodenal varices, which drained into the left ovarian vein. We performed selective catheterization into the afferent vein of the varices, and injected 8 ml of a 5% solution of ethanolamine oleate containing iopamidol. Microcoil embolization using steel coils was added because the therapeutic effect resulting after the relatively rapid washout of sclerosant was insufficient. CT and color Doppler ultrasonography showed absence of blood flow in the varices 1 week after the therapy. This patient has had no episodes of rebleeding in the 24 months after therapy. Color Doppler ultrasonography was useful in diagnosing this case of duodenal varices and in evaluating therapeutic effect.