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World Gastroenterology Organisation
World Gastroenterology Organisation

WGO Practice Guideline - Esophageal Varices

Definition: Esophageal varices are portosystemic collaterals — i.e., vascular channels that link the portal venous and the systemic venous circulation. They form as a consequence of portal hypertension (a progressive complication of cirrhosis), preferentially in the submucosa of the lower esophagus. Rupture and bleeding from esophageal varices are major complications of portal hypertension and are associated with a high mortality rate. Variceal bleeding accounts for 10-30% of all cases of upper gastrointestinal bleeding.

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