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Am J Gastroenterol. 2011 May;106(5):884-93. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2010.456. Epub 2010 Dec 7.

Development and progression of portal hypertensive gastropathy in patients with chronic hepatitis C.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.



The objective of this study was to determine the incidence and risk factors associated with new-onset and worsening portal hypertensive gastropathy (PHG) in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC).


A total of 831 CHC patients with bridging fibrosis or cirrhosis at the time of entry were prospectively monitored for clinical and histological liver disease progression while receiving either low-dose peginterferon α2a or no antiviral therapy in the HALT-C (Hepatitis C Antiviral Long-term Treatment against Cirrhosis) trial. Upper endoscopy with grading of PHG was performed at baseline and at year 4 of the study. The presence and severity of PHG were determined using the NIEC (New Italian Endoscopy Conference) criteria, and worsening PHG was defined as a score increase of ≥1 point.


During a median follow-up of 3.85 years, 50% of 514 subjects without PHG developed new-onset PHG, whereas 26% of 317 patients with baseline PHG had worsening PHG. Independent predictors of new-onset PHG included higher alkaline phosphatase and being diabetic, whereas predictors of worsening PHG were Caucasian race, lower albumin, as well as higher serum aspartate transaminase/alanine transaminase ratio and homeostatic model assessment levels. New-onset and worsening PHG were significantly associated with clinical and histological progression. They were also associated with new-onset and worsening gastroesophageal varices.


New-onset and worsening PHG develop at a rate of 12.9% per year and 6.7% per year, respectively, in non-responder CHC patients with advanced fibrosis. If confirmed in other studies, endoscopic surveillance for PHG may need to be tailored to individual patient risk factors.

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