Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 63, Issue 4, pp 966–973 | Cite as

An Analysis of the Clinical, Laboratory, and Histological Features of Striped, Punctate, and Nodular Gastric Antral Vascular Ectasia

  • Arul Thomas
  • David Koch
  • William Marsteller
  • David Lewin
  • Adrian Reuben
Original Article



Gastric antral vascular ectasia (GAVE) commonly presents as linear striped (“watermelon stomach”) or punctate phenotypes, to which a newly discovered nodular form was recently added.


We performed a retrospective cohort study to detail and compare the clinical and histological characteristics of major GAVE phenotypes.


In 136 GAVE patients (tertiary care ambulatory and inpatient, median age 61.3 years, 73 men, and 63 women), clinical and laboratory results were recorded, with comorbidities, endoscopy indications, and complications of cirrhosis. In 74 patients, GAVE histopathology was cataloged by a pathologist masked to endoscopy results.


Median age 61.3 years, 73 men, and 63 women. GAVE phenotypes were: linear striped—62 (46%), punctate—32 (24%), and nodular—41 (30%). Endoscopy was commonly performed for variceal screening in linear striped (45%) and nodular (34%) GAVE and for gastrointestinal bleeding in punctate (41%) and nodular (29%) GAVE, respectively. Of 89 cirrhotic patients, 37.5% each had linear striped or nodular GAVE, 24.7% had punctate forms (p = 0.03). Child–Turcotte–Pugh and Model for End-Stage Liver Disease scores were similar among phenotypes. Histologically, reactive epithelial hyperplasia and vascular ectasia were universal; smooth muscle proliferation was more common and consistent (78–86%) than microvascular thrombi (27–59%) and fibrohyalinosis (18–53%), which each varied with phenotype.


Nodular GAVE is a gastric mucosal abnormality that is similar to the linear striped and punctate phenotypes, yet has distinct clinical and histological features. Increased awareness of nodular GAVE by endoscopists is needed to avoid its misdiagnosis as nonspecific antral nodules.


Gastric nodules Gastrointestinal bleeding Cirrhosis 



Adrian Reuben




David Koch


David Lewin




Gastric antral vascular ectasia


Hematoxylin and eosin


International normalized ratio


Interquartile range


Model for End-Stage Liver Disease


Medical University of South Carolina


Statistical Analysis System


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None of the authors have any financial, professional, or personal conflicts that are relevant to the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arul Thomas
    • 1
  • David Koch
    • 2
  • William Marsteller
    • 2
  • David Lewin
    • 3
  • Adrian Reuben
    • 2
  1. 1.MedStar Georgetown Transplant InstituteMedStar Georgetown University HospitalWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of MedicineMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PathologyMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA

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