Obscure Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage from Mesenteric Varices Diagnosed by Video Capsule Endoscopy

Section of Gastroenterology, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Digestive Diseases and Sciences (Impact Factor: 2.61). 08/2006; 51(7):1169-74. DOI: 10.1007/s10620-006-8027-6
Source: PubMed


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    ABSTRACT: Video capsule endoscopy (VCE) is the most recent major practical and conceptual development in the field of endoscopy. The video capsule endoscope-a small, pill-sized, passive imaging device-has been demonstrated to be the pre-eminent imaging device for disorders of the small intestine. The initial use for VCE was to detect the origin of obscure gastrointestinal bleeding. Several other indications have now been justified, or are in the process of evaluation. More than 200,000 of these disposable devices have been used worldwide, with an extraordinarily good safety record: indeed, the device has been approved for use in children as young as 10 years of age. In addition, a double-ended capsule has now been approved for the evaluation of mucosal disease in the esophagus. The now-widespread deployment of the device into gastrointestinal practice in the US and many other countries suggests that VCE has achieved mainstream utility. The development of similar competitor devices, and devices whose movement can be controlled, is in progress.
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    ABSTRACT: Ectopic varices (EcV) comprise large portosystemic venous collaterals located anywhere other than the gastro-oesophageal region. No large series or randomized-controlled trials address this subject, and therefore its management is based on available expertise and facilities, and may require a multidisciplinary team approach. EcV are common findings during endoscopy in portal hypertensive patients and their bleeding accounts for only 1-5% of all variceal bleeding. EcV develop secondary to portal hypertension (PHT), surgical procedures, anomalies in venous outflow, or abdominal vascular thrombosis and may be familial in origin. Bleeding EcV may present with anaemia, shock, haematemesis, melaena or haematochezia and should be considered in patients with PHT and gastrointestinal bleeding or anaemia of obscure origin. EcV may be discovered during panendoscopy, enteroscopy, endoscopic ultrasound, wireless capsule endoscopy, diagnostic angiography, multislice helical computed tomography, magnetic resonance angiography, colour Doppler-flow imaging, laparotomy, laparoscopy and occasionally during autopsy. Patients with suspected EcV bleeding need immediate assessment, resuscitation, haemodynamic stabilization and referral to specialist centres. Management of EcV involves medical, endoscopic, interventional radiological and surgical modalities depending on patients' condition, site of varices, available expertise and patients' subsequent management plan.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2008 · Hepatology International
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