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World Gastroenterology Organisation

Global Guardian of Digestive Health. Serving the World.

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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Review Team

  • Petr Dite (Co-Chair, Czech Republic)
  • Douglas Labrecque (Co-Chair, USA)
  • Michael Fried (Switzerland)
  • Alfred Gangl (Austria)
  • Aamir Ghafoor Khan (Pakistan)
  • David Bjorkman (USA)
  • Rami Eliakim (Israel)
  • Roza Bektaeva (Kazakhstan)
  • Shiv Kumar Sarin (India)
  • Suliman S. Fedail (Sudan)
  • Justus H. Krabshuis (France)
  • Anton Le Mair (The Netherlands)

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