Orthotopic liver transplantation changes the course of gastric antral vascular ectasia: a case series from a transplant center
AbstractBackground and aim
Gastric antral vascular ectasia (GAVE) is an important cause of upper gastrointestinal bleeding and anemia in patients with cirrhosis. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effect of orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) on GAVE and associated anemia.Patients and methods
We performed a chart review and identified all cirrhotic patients with GAVE who underwent OLT at the University Of Alabama at Birmingham between 2005 and 2013. Population’s demographics, etiology of cirrhosis, comorbidities, presentation and treatment modalities of GAVE, endoscopic and histopathologic reports, hemoglobin values before and after transplant, and immunosuppressive regimens were collected.Results
Twelve patients were identified, mean age 52.4±4.4 years; seven were men (58.3%); 11 (91.7%) were White; and 6 of 12 patients had biopsy-proven GAVE. The most common etiology of cirrhosis in the cohort was chronic hepatitis C and obesity was the most common chronic condition in 50 and 83.3%, respectively. Anemia resolution was observed in 9/12 (75%) patients who underwent OLT with an increase in hemoglobin from 8.1±2.4 (5.7–13.1) before transplant to 12.0±1.4 (10–15) after transplant (P<0.0001). Esophagogastroduodenoscopy after transplant was performed in all 12 (100%) patients. The mean time between transplant and post-OLT esophagogastroduodenoscopy was 13.8±18.28 (2–57) months; complete resolution of GAVE was observed in 10 (83.3%) patients, with resolving GAVE in one (8.3%) patient.Conclusion
GAVE is an important cause of anemia and upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with liver cirrhosis. Our findings show that liver transplantation can resolve GAVE and related anemia.