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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Hemodynamics of the left gastric vein in portal hypertension.

BACKGROUND: Esophageal varices reflect the hemodynamics of the left gastric vein, which can now be studied by Doppler ultrasonography. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the hemodynamic features of the left gastric vein in portal hypertension. METHODS: Flow direction and velocity in the left gastric vein were examined by the pulsed Doppler flowmeter in 53 healthy adults and 216 patients with liver cirrhosis. RESULTS: Flow direction was hepatopetal in all healthy controls, whereas it was hepatofugal in 72% of the patients with esophageal varices. In the early stage of mild esophageal varices, flow direction was still hepatopetal. However, in portal pressure > 250 mm H2O, hepatofugal flow was highly frequent (56 of 59 patients, 95%). Hepatofugal flow velocity in patients with varices was 8.5 +/- 2.5 cm/s in mild varices, 11.6 +/- 2.4 cm/s in intermediate varices, and 13.8 +/- 3.4 cm/s in marked varices. Variceal bleeding was frequent in patients with a flow velocity > 15 cm/s (7 of 14 patients, 50%). Flow velocity in the left gastric vein increased after ingestion of glucose in 43 of 56 patients with esophageal varices. CONCLUSIONS: In portal hypertension, as the size of varices enlarged, hepatofugal blood flow in the left gastric vein increased in parallel. High flow velocity in the left gastric vein was strongly associated with variceal bleeding. Increase of blood flow after ingestion of glucose suggests postprandial increase in variceal flow.[1]


  1. Hemodynamics of the left gastric vein in portal hypertension. Matsutani, S., Furuse, J., Ishii, H., Mizumoto, H., Kimura, K., Ohto, M. Gastroenterology (1993) [Pubmed]
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