The team identified the risk factors that predict the presence of varices in patients with cirrhosis.
The findings were reported in the latest issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
A total of 300 patients without a history of variceal hemorrhage underwent upper endoscopy as part of an evaluation before liver transplantation.
Cases defined as the presence of any varices and cases defined as the presence of large varices were used for examining the risks associated with finding varices on upper endoscopy.
Logistic regression was performed to evaluate associations between the presence of varices and patient characteristics.
|Predictors of any varices present:|
- Low platelet count
- Advanced Child-Pugh class
| Archives of Internal Medicine |
The researchers found that platelet count and Child-Pugh class were independent risk factors for the presence of any varices and the presence of large varices.
For the presence of any varices, a platelet count of 90 x 103/µL or less (odds ratio [OR], 2.4) and advanced Child-Pugh class (OR, 3.0) were independent risk factors.
For large varices, a platelet count of 80 x 103/µL or less (OR, 2.3) and advanced Child-Pugh class (OR, 2.8) were independent risk factors associated with varices.
Dr Atif Zaman, of the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, concluded on behalf of fellow authors, "Low platelet count and advanced Child-Pugh class were associated with the presence of any varices and with large varices.
"These factors allow identification of a subgroup of cirrhotic patients who would benefit most from referral for endoscopic screening for varices."