A preliminary study indicated that a high hepatofugal flow velocity in the left gastric vein seen was a possible risk factor for variceal recurrence after endoscopy.
The hepatofugal flow velocity in the left gastric vein seen under color Doppler endoscopic ultrasound.
The study also found that an anterior branch dominant pattern was a possible risk factor for variceal recurrence after endoscopic treatment.
However, the sample size of this study was too small.
Dr Akira Kuramochi and colleagues from Japan validated the results of the preliminary study.
|Half of the high-risk patients had a recurrence within 6 months|
|Journal of Gastroenterology|
The research team enrolled 68 patients for moderate or large esophageal varices between 2001 and 2004 at a single university hospital.
Color Doppler endoscopic ultrasonography was followed by endoscopic variceal ligation and sclerotherapy.
The researchers classified patients into either a high-risk group or a low-risk group.
The high-risk group exhibited anterior branch dominance and flow velocity of 12 cm/s or more.
The low-risk group included all other patients.
The team found that half of the patients in the high-risk group exhibited a recurrence within half a year.
However, it took almost 2 years for half of the patients in the other group to exhibit a recurrence.
On further analysis, the team found that only the features of the high-risk group were significant in triggering recurrence of varices.
Dr Kuramochi's team concluded, “These results suggest that color Doppler endoscopic ultrasonography examination may identigy those at a high risk of an early recurrence of esophageal varices.”