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New Clinical Practice Update: Management of bleeding gastric varices

New AGA guidance offers 12 best practice statements and recommends new additions to the Sarin classification when describing gastric varices.
Copy of Untitled Design (2)
Copy of Untitled Design (2)

AGA has released a new Clinical Practice Update providing 12 best practice advice statements on the diagnosis and management of bleeding gastric varices. The evidence-based advice includes: 

  • Initial therapy for bleeding gastric varices should focus on acute hemostasis for hemodynamic stabilization with a plan for further diagnostic evaluation and/or transfer to a tertiary care center with expertise in gastric varices management. 
  • Following initial endoscopic hemostasis, cross-sectional (MR or CT) imaging with portal venous contrast phase should be obtained to determine vascular anatomy, including the presence or absence of portosystemic shunts and gastrorenal shunts. 
  • Determination of definitive therapy for bleeding gastric varices should be made based upon endoscopic appearance of the gastric varix, the underlying vascular anatomy, presence of comorbid portal hypertensive complications and available local resources. This is ideally done via a multidisciplinary discussion between the GI or hepatologist and the interventional radiologist. 

In this AGA Clinical Practice Update, the experts also suggest adding an estimate of variceal size and high-risk stigmata (discolored marks, platelet plugs) to the Sarin classification when describing your patient’s gastric varices.  

Read the full list of the best practice advice statements in the AGA Clinical Practice Update on Management of Bleeding Gastric Varices: Expert Review. In the short video below, lead author Zachary Henry, MD, from University of Virginia Medical Center shares his key points of clinical management of these patients.

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