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Prevalence and Natural History of Gastric Antral Vascular Ectasia in Patients Undergoing Orthotopic Liver Transplantation

Ward, Eric M., MD; Raimondo, Massimo, MD; Rosser, Barry G., MD; Wallace, Michael B., MD; Dickson, Rolland D., MD

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: November-December 2004 - Volume 38 - Issue 10 - p 898-900
Liver, Pancreas and Biliary Tract: Clinical Research

Goals: To describe the prevalence and natural history of gastric antral vascular ectasia (GAVE) in patients with end-stage liver disease undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT).

Background: GAVE is a well-recognized cause of gastrointestinal hemorrhage. Although 30% of patients with GAVE have liver disease, the prevalence of GAVE in patients with cirrhosis is not known.

Study: We reviewed clinical records of patients who underwent OLT at our institution from February 1, 1998 to June 2003. Demographic and clinical details were recorded with attention to findings during upper endoscopy before and after OLT.

Results: A total of 597 patients underwent OLT, and 345 were evaluated preoperatively with esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD). Eight (2.3%) were found to have GAVE before OLT. Three of these eight underwent EGD after OLT, and GAVE was absent in all three. None of the patients with GAVE experienced gastrointestinal bleeding postoperatively.

Conclusions: GAVE was present in nearly 1 in 40 patients with end-stage liver disease who underwent EGD before OLT at our institution and appears to resolve after transplant. These findings are consistent with a previous report documenting resolution of GAVE after OLT.

From the Divisions of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Transplant Surgery Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL.

Received for publication February 11, 2004; accepted April 30, 2004.

Reprints: Massimo Raimondo, MD, FACG, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, FL 32224 (e-mail:

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.