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[Gastric antral vascular ectasia:clinical presentation and therapeutic management].

[Article in Spanish]

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Servicios de Clínica Médica, Hospital Británico de Buenos Aires, Perdriel 74 (C1280AEB), Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The gastric antral vascular ectasia (GAVE) or watermelon stomach is an increasingly recognized cause of persistent upper gastrointestinal bleeding, which has typical endoscopic and histological findings. This disease is most frequent in elderly women, and several associated conditions have been well established. Some patients with severe portal hypertensive gastropathy may have a GAVE like appearence. Nevertheless, a correct diagnosis is relevant in order to choose an appropiate treatment. The objective of the current study is to analyze the clinical features and treatment of a group of patients with GAVE evaluated at our Institution. A review of the current literature was also performed. Six women and three men with GAVE were admitted at the Buenos Aires British Hospital between November 1998 and January 2004. Endoscopic biopsy was performed in eight patients and was consistent with GAVE in all cases. Four patients with chronic anaemia as unique manifestation were successfully treated with iron supplements. Endoscopic treatment was performed in 4 patients, 3 of them were treated with bipolar electrocautery and 1 with argon plasma coagulation. An antrectomy was carried out in the ninth patient. The resolution of the bleeding was observed in all cases with the different therapeutics options used.

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