A review article on gastric varices with focus on the emerging role of endoscopic ultrasound-guided angiotherapy

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BackgroundGastric varices (GV) manifest in almost one-fifth of the patients with portal hypertension. Although primary pharmacological prevention of esophageal varices has been identified, there are limited therapeutic options that are optimal for GV bleeding. Recently, the use of endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)-guided angiotherapy [cyanoacrylate (CA) and coils] was introduced for the treatment of GV. Although CA injection is the recommended first-line therapeutic modality, it is associated with systemic, life-threatening embolization as well as technical instrumental challenges. Recently, EUS-guided coiling for GV was used with high safety profile.MethodsThis is a review of the current literature on the treatment of GV, focusing on the role of EUS-guided angiotherapy in the treatment of GV. We performed a Medline/PubMed search, and 37 relevant studies were extracted and examined.ResultsEUS-guided angiotherapy has shown a consistent favorable result among the several reports throughout the literature, with better safety and efficacy profile toward EUS-guided coiling; however, a combination treatment with EUS-guided coiling followed by glue injection has shown as well to reduce the embolization adverse events associated with glue injection.ConclusionEUS-guided angiotherapy and specifically EUS-guided coiling is an emerging promising technique and should be considered as a first-line therapeutic option for bleeding GV.

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