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Background—It is believed that severe portal
hypertensive gastropathy probably accounts for most non-variceal
bleeding episodes in patients with cirrhosis. Gastric antral vascular
ectasia (GAVE) also occurs in these patients. It is not clear whether
it is a variant of portal hypertensive gastropathy or a distinct condition.
Patient—A patient, a 66 year od woman, with cirrhosis initially diagnosed as having portal hypertensive gastropathy and subsequently classified as GAVE is described. She required transfusion with a total of 130 units of packed red cells for gastrointestinal blood loss.
Results—The bleeding did not respond to portal decompression with TIPS or beta blockers. Following treatment with oral tranexamic acid she has not required further blood transfusion over a period of 30months.
Conclusion—Tranexamic acid may be a useful treatment for refractory bleeding due to gastric antral vascular ectasia in patients with cirrhosis.
Keywords: gastric antral vascular ectasia; cirrhosis; tranexamic acid