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Do gastric and oesophageal varices bleed at different portal pressures and is TIPS an effective treatment?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nicholas Thompson, Dr Christopher Record, Dr Mark Hudson


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Background It has been suggested that gastric varices bleed at lower portosystemic pressure gradients (PSPG) than oesophageal varices and that transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) is a particularly effective treatment in these patients. Aims. This study was undertaken to assess the difference in PSPG measured at the time of TIPS insertion between patients bleeding from gastric and those bleeding from oesophageal varices. Rebleeding and mortality rates between the two groups were also compared. Patients and methods: In a live year period, 64 patients (36 males and 28 females) undergoing TIPS for acute variceal bleeding had PSPG measured at the time of TIPS insertion. 12 patients underwent TIPS for gastric variceal haemorrhage (GVH) and 52 for oesophageal variceal haemorrhage (OVH). The median age was 53 years and 40/64 patients (63%) had alcoholic liver disease. The median Child's Pugh score was 8 for GVH and 9 for OVH patients. Median follow up was 75 weeks. Results: There was no significant difference in median PSPG between patients with GVH, 21 mmHg (range 15-30 mmHg) and OVH, 22 mmHg (range 12-45 mmHg). Following TIPS, PSPG was 8.5 mmHg (range 3-11 mmHg) and 9 mmHg (range 4-20 mmHg) in GVH and OVH patients respectively Rebleeding occurred in 2/12 (16%) GVH patients and 12/52 (23%) OVH patients (p=1.0). Mortality during follow up was 25% (4/12) in the GVH and 25% (13/52) in the OVH patients. Conclusion: In this study, there was no difference between the pressures at which gastric and oesophageal varices bled. Rebleeding and mortality rates were similar in the two groups. TIPS is equally effective in the treatment of both oesophageal and gastric variceal haemorrhage.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hudson M; Record CO; Thompson NP; Rees CJ; Nylander DL; Rose JD

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Liver

Year: 2000

Volume: 20

Issue: 3

Pages: 253-256

ISSN (print): 1478-3223

ISSN (electronic): 1478-3231

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.