Isolated gastric varices: Splenic vein obstruction or portal hypertension?
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The presence of isolated gastric varices without esophageal varices is thought to be highly suggestive of splenic vein obstruction. A review of our radiologic files revealed 14 patients with isolated gastric varices on barium studies performed during the past 10 years. Eight of the 14 patients had adequate clinical and/or radiologic follow-up to suggest the pathophysiology of the varices. Seven had evidence of portal hypertension, and the remaining patient had evidence of splenic vein obstruction. Six patients had signs of upper gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. Double-contrast upper GI examinations revealed thickened, tortuous fundal folds in 6 patients and a lobulated fundal mass in 2. Thus, most patients with isolated gastric varices have portal hypertension rather than splenic vein obstruction as the underlying cause.
Key wordsStomach, varices Portal hypertension, diagnosis
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