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Takahiro Sato, Sho Kitagawa, Mutsuumi Kimura, Takumi Ohmura, Yoshiyasu Karino and Jouji Toyota
Gastric varices that arise secondary to splenic vein occlusion can result in hypersplenism or gastrointestinal hemorrhaging. This article review gastric varices secondary to splenic vein occlusion due to pancreatic diseases with regard to causes of the condition, as well as diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Diagnosis of gastric varices is made following esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy, and splenic vein occlusions are diagnosed from enhanced computed tomographic scans in almost all cases. Specific findings of gastric varices secondary to splenic vein occlusion are based on endoscopic ultrasonographic color flow images of gastric variceal flow that clearly depicted round cardiac and fundal regions at the center, with varices expanding to the curvatura ventriculi major of the gastric body. Several treatment options for gastric variceal bleeding secondary to splenic vein occlusion have been proposed. Splenectomy, which decompresses the short gastric vein by cutting off inflow, has generally been considered the best treatment of choice in such condition. Endoscopic injection sclerotherapy using cyanoacrylate, is useful in the treatment of bleeding gastric varices due to splenic vein occlusion. As patients with splenic vein occlusion have normal portal pressure and normal hepatic function, portal systemic shunting is not indicated. Splenic arterial embolization, which reduces blood flow through the splenic parenchyma, is another effective method of controlling bleeding from gastric varices secondary to splenic vein occlusion. Treatment of gastric varices secondary to splenic vein occlusion is directed to the underlying pancreatic diseases.