Left gastric vein-based noninvasive test for esophageal varices: a same-day comparison of portal hemodynamic assessment with endoscopic appearance

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Objective:To examine the effect of hemodynamic assessment of the left gastric vein (LGV) as a noninvasive test to diagnose esophageal varices (EV) in cirrhosis patients.Methods:This cross-sectional study consisted of 229 cirrhosis patients (62.7 ± 11.8 years; Child-Pugh score 5–14). One hundred fifty-four patients had EV (67.2%; small, 53; medium, 71; large, 30). All patients underwent a blood test and Doppler ultrasound followed by upper gastrointestinal endoscopy on the same day. The diagnostic ability for EV was compared between LGV-related findings and the platelet count/spleen diameter ratio (Plt/Spl).Results:The detectability of the LGV was higher in patients with EV (129/144, 89.6%) than in those without (35/75, 46.7%; p < 0.0001), and was higher in those with large EV (30/30, 100%) than in those without (134/199, 67.3%; p = 0.0002). The positive detection of the LGV showed 100% sensitivity and negative predictive value (NPV) to identify large EV in the whole cohort and compensated group (n = 127). The best cutoff value in the LGV diameter was 5.35 mm to identify large EV, showing 0.753 area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) with 90% sensitivity and 96.5% NPV. The Plt/Spl showed 62.1% sensitivity and 87.1% NPV, and the best cutoff value was 442.9 to identify large EV with 0.658 AUROC, which was comparable to LGV-based assessment (p = 0.162).Conclusions:This same-day comparison study demonstrated the value of LGV-based noninvasive test to identify large EV with high sensitivity and NPV in cirrhosis patients at a lower cost.

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