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HPB Surg. 1994;7(4):315-8.

Intraperitoneal rupture of ectopic varices--a rare complication of portal hypertension.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Ards Hospital, Newtownards, County Down, Northern Ireland.


A 50 year old man presented with sudden abdominal pain, abdominal distension and shock. At emergency laparotomy a large amount of blood was found in the peritoneal cavity. There was micronodular cirrhosis of the liver and the spleen was enlarged. The bleeding was traced to distended veins in the right paracolic gutter which were oversewn and the abdomen closed. A coagulopathy was diagnosed and treatment including high dose aprotinin commenced. However, he continued to bleed and at a second laparotomy the area of previous haemorrhage was packed. Further deterioration continued until death 12 hours later. Intraperitoneal haemorrhage from ectopic varices is a rare occurrence. There is a high mortality rate usually due to an advanced coagulopathy. This is the first report of aprotinin being used in an attempt to treat this. On the basis of this report aprotinin would not seem to be of benefit for this condition.

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