Main Article Content
Portal hypertension is associated with liver cirrhosis and esophageal varices is a common complication. Cirrhotic liver increases resistance to the passage of blood and thereby increased splanchnic blood flow secondary to vasodilation. Prevalence of portal hypertension varies from 50-60% in patients with liver cirrhosis. The first episode of variceal bleeding causes mortality, which ranges from 40-70%. All cirrhotic patients should be screened for the oesophageal varices according to Baveno III consensus conference on portal hypertension and recommendation for endoscopy is at 2-3 years intervals in patients without varices and at 1-2 years interval in patients with small varices in order to evaluate the development or variceal progression. But this is questionable as endoscopy is an invasive procedure and also cost-effective. Only 9-36% of patients with cirrhosis were found to have varices on screening endoscopy. Non-invasive assessment of variceal bleeding with good predictivity includes biochemical, clinical and ultrasonographic parameters. Thus unnecessary intervention is avoided and at the same time, the patients at risk of bleeding are also not missed. This study emphasizes the need for an annual ultrasonogram examination as a part of a surveillance program for screening of oesophageal varices in patients of chronic liver disease.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.