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Semin Liver Dis. 2008 Feb;28(1):3-25. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1040318.

Portal hypertension and gastrointestinal bleeding.

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  • 1Hepatic Hemodynamic Laboratory, Liver Unit, Institut d'Investigacions Biomediques August Pi i Sunyer, University of Barcelona, Spain.


Variceal bleeding is one of the most serious complications of portal hypertension. The driving force for the development of varices is an increase in portal pressure. As portal hypertension progresses, varices dilate until they finally rupture and bleed. This sequence of events might be prevented by achieving a sufficient decrease in portal pressure or by acting locally at the varices with endoscopic treatments. This article reviews the rationale for the management of portal hypertension and the current recommendations for the prevention and treatment of variceal bleeding.

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