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Keywords:

  • color Doppler;
  • endoscopic ultrasonography;
  • gastric varices;
  • splenic vein occlusion

Aim:  This study provides a retrospective evaluation of cases with gastric varices secondary to splenic vein occlusion.

Methods:  Our study group consisted of 14 patients. The clinical manifestations, diagnostic methods and therapeutic modalities were analyzed retrospectively.

Results:  Eleven patients had co-existing pancreatic diseases: seven with chronic pancreatitis, three with cancer of the pancreatic body or tail and one with severe acute pancreatitis. Among the three remaining patients, one had advanced left renal cancer, one had myeloproliferative disease and the third had splenic vein occlusion due to an obscure cause. A diagnosis of gastric varices was made following endoscope gastroduodenoscopy or endoscopic color Doppler ultrasonography (ECDUS), and splenic vein occlusions were diagnosed from enhanced computed tomography in all cases. Specific findings of gastric varices secondary to splenic vein occlusion were based on ECDUS color flow images of gastric variceal flow that clearly depicted round cardiac and fundal regions at the center, with varices expanding to the curvatura ventriculi major of the gastric body. For three cases with gastric variceal bleeding, endoscopic injection sclerotherapy using a mixture of histoacryl and lipiodol (70% histoacryl solution) was performed, after which no further bleeding from gastric varices was detected. Due to a high risk of gastric variceal rupture, splenectomy was performed in two cases and splenic arterial embolization in another two cases.

Conclusion:  ECDUS color flow images of gastric variceal flow depicted specific findings of gastric varices secondary to splenic vein occlusion. Treatment should take into account the diseases underlying these conditions.