A morphometric study of the distal esophageal mucosa (within 5 cm above the gastroesophageal junction) has been carried out in a group of 11 cirrhotic patients undergoing esophageal transection with SPTU gun for variceal bleeding. The relative thickness of the papillae (62.2 ± 3.9%) and basal zone (11.8 ± 1.9%) were within normal limits. Polymorphonuclear infiltrates were not found either in the lamina propria or in the epithelium. The absence of histopathologic changes in the esophageal mucosa from patients with liver cirrhosis and bleeding esophageal varices confirms the hypothesis that gastroesophageal reflux does not play a pathogenic role in the development of variceal bleeding.
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