In medicine (gastroenterology), esophageal varices are extreme dilations of sub-mucosal veins in the mucosa of the esophagus in diseases featuring portal hypertension, secondary to cirrhosis primarily. more...
Patients with esophageal varices have a strong tendency to develop bleeding.
Esophageal varices are disagnosed with endoscopy.
In emergency situations, the care is directed at stopping blood loss, and maintaining plasma volume.
Ideally, patients with known varices should receive treatment to reduce their risk of bleeding (Lebrec et al., 1981). The non-selective β-blockers (e.g., propranolol, timolol or nadolol). The effectiveness of this treatment has been shown by a number of different studies (Talwalkar JA & Kamath PS, 2004).
Unfortunately, non-selective β-blockers do not prevent the formation of esophageal varices (Groszmann RJ et al., 2005).
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