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Upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with liver cirrhosis

, : Upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with liver cirrhosis. Journal of the National Medical Association 94(8): 712-715

Patients with liver cirrhosis may develop upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage from a variety of lesions, which include those that arise by virtue of portal hypertension, namely gastroesophageal varices and portal hypertensive gastropathy and other lesions seen in the general population. Do patients with liver cirrhosis, hemorrhage from varices and other lesions equally, or are they more likely to bleed from varices? The aim of this study is to determine predominant causes of bleeding in patients with liver cirrhosis and upper gastrointestinal bleeding. A retrospective review of 40 patients with liver cirrhosis based on the clinical and biochemical parameters of the Child-Pugh score, and upper gastrointestinal bleeding was carried out at an inner city hospital. Endoscopy diagnoses were documented. Of 40 patients, 38 patients had cirrhosis associated with alcohol consumption. Twelve of the above 38 patients who consumed alcohol also had hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Eleven patients had only varices on endoscopic examination, 17 had varices plus coexisting lesions. From these 17 patients, nine were found to have bled from varices, and eight were found to have bled from coexisting lesions. Twelve patients who had no varices bled from other lesions. Of 40 patients, 28 had varices, and 20 actually bled from varices. In this study there was no correlation between severity of liver cirrhosis as determined by the Child-Pugh score and the absence or presence of varices. Patients with liver cirrhosis and upper gastrointestinal bleeding hemorrhage from a variety of lesions. In this study of 40 patients, (70%) had gastroesophageal varices diagnosed at upper endoscopy, while 50% actually bled from varices.


PMID: 12152928

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