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Lasers Surg Med. 1992;12(5):478-81.

Endoscopic laser therapy of the watermelon stomach.

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Utah Laser Institute, Salt Lake City.


Endoscopic laser therapy has been used in the treatment of vascular lesions throughout the gastrointestinal tract. The "watermelon stomach" is a pattern of vascular ectasia in the gastric antrum that results in chronic gastrointestinal blood loss and iron deficiency anemia. We have treated 7 transfusion dependent patients with a watermelon stomach using endoscopic laser therapy. Four of these patients were treated with the argon laser and 3 with the Nd:YAG laser. Patient age and prior transfusion requirements were similar in both groups. The mean number of treatments to obliterate vascular lesions and eliminate the need for transfusions was 5.75 +/- 0.89 (SEM) for the argon laser and 2.33 +/- 0.27 for the Nd:YAG laser (P < 0.05). Lesions recurred and required retreatment in 1 patient treated with the Nd:YAG laser and 3 patients treated with the argon laser (mean follow-up of 35 months). We conclude that endoscopic laser therapy with either the argon or Nd:YAG laser is an effective treatment modality for antral vascular ectasia (watermelon stomach). The Nd:YAG laser requires fewer treatment sessions than the argon laser to obliterate the lesions without increased risk of complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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