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Education in practice
Managing gastric varices


Gastric varices (GV) are a type of ectopic varix, which is a natural portosystemic shunt occurring in response to an increase in intrahepatic vascular resistance, mostly commonly from portal hypertension. GV are present in up to 20% of patients with portal hypertension. Although oesophageal varices are more common than GV, and oesophageal variceal bleeding (EVB) happens more often than gastric variceal bleeding (GVB), GVB tends to be more severe, to have higher associated hospital costs, length of stay, higher rebleeding rates and have higher mortality. Mortality rates associated with variceal bleeding range from 6% in EVB to 20%–55% in GVB. Risk factors for GV haemorrhage include location, size, severity of liver failure, presence of variceal red spots, and presence of HCC (hepatocellular carcinoma).This manuscript will review endoscopic and non-endoscopic treatment of GV.


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