Gastric varices can occur in as many as one-third of patients with portal hypertension. Within the nursing literature, however, articles focus on the management of esophageal varices and portal hypertensive gastrointestinal bleeding with few publications about management of gastric varices. Given the advancement in therapies, it is prudent for gastroenterology nurses to have an understanding of its management and treatment options. This article reviews the pathophysiology, classification, and management of patients with gastric varices and outlines the importance of the nurse's role in the education and ongoing care for this patient group.
Cheryl Dale, MScN, RN(EC), is Nurse Practitioner, Hepatology and Liver Transplant, Multi-Organ Transplant Program, London Health Science Centre- University Hospital, University Hospital, London, Ontario, Canada.
Correspondence to: Cheryl Dale, MScN, RN(EC), Hepatology and Liver Transplant, Multi-Organ Transplant Program, London Health Science Centre, University Hospital, University Hospital, C4-251, 339 Windermere Road, London, ON N6A 5A5, Canada (Cheryl.firstname.lastname@example.org).
The author declares no conflicts of interest.
Received July 18, 2013
Accepted March 11, 2014