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Abstract

Controversy exists as to the nature of gastric perfusion in portal-hypertensive gastropathy. To investigate portal hemodynamics and gastric mucosal perfusion in cirrhotic patients with and without portalhypertensive gastropathy, we subjected 56 cirrhotic patients with portal hypertension to portal vein catheterization, pneumatic pressure sensor technique, duplex sonography and laser Doppler flowmetry. Thirteen patients had portal-hypertensive gastropathy: In 10 it was mild, and in 3 it was severe. The presence of portal-hypertensive gastropathy seemed to be independent of age, sex, cause of cirrhosis or grade of esophageal varices. Portal venous pressure, esophageal variceal pressure, portal venous flow and congestion index in patients with portal-hypertensive gastropathy were not significantly different from the values in those without portal-hypertensive gastropathy. However, portal-variceal pressure gradient (subtracting esophageal variceal pressure from portal venous pressure) (p < 0.01) and the incidence of palisading-type esophageal varices on portography (p < 0.05) was increased in patients with portalhypertensive gastropathy significantly more than in those without portal-hypertensive gastropathy. In the fundus, gastric mucosal blood flow was significantly higher in patients with portal-hypertensive gastropathy than in those without portal-hypertensive gastropathy, whereas in the corpus and the antrum the values were not significantly different. We suggest that the mucosa of the upper stomach in patients with portal-hypertensive gastropathy is congestive and highly perfused. The pathogenesis of portal-hypertensive gastropathy may be related to both congestion and hyperemia in the upper stomach. (Hepatology 1994;20:1432–1436).