Portal Hypertensive gastropathy

Baillieres Clin Gastroenterol. 1997 Jun;11(2):257-70. doi: 10.1016/s0950-3528(97)90039-7.


The term portal hypertensive gastropathy (PHG) defines a wide spectrum of diffuse macroscopic lesions that appear in the gastric mucosa of patients with portal hypertension. Histologically, these lesions correspond to dilated vessels in the mucosa and submucosa in the absence of erosions or inflammation. Endoscopically, the lesions are classified as mild when mosaic pattern or superficial reddening are present, and severe when gastric mucosa appear with diffuse cherry red spots. Mild lesions are highly prevalent (65-90%), whereas severe lesions are present in only 10-25% of cirrhotic patients. The pathogenesis of PHG is not well known, but both venous congestion related with raised portal pressure and increased gastric blood flow seem to be crucial factors for its development. Variceal sclerosis may contribute to the development or aggravation of the lesions. Bleeding is the unique clinical manifestation of PHG, and occurs only in those patients with severe lesions. During a 5-year follow-up, the risk of overt bleeding or chronic bleeding, which induces anaemia, is 60 % and 90%, respectively, for patients with severe PHG. Propranolol is the only pharmacological treatment that has been proven useful in preventing bleeding from PHG. Porto-systemic shunts and liver transplantation are also effective.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Portal / complications*
  • Prevalence
  • Stomach Diseases / diagnosis
  • Stomach Diseases / etiology*
  • Stomach Diseases / pathology
  • Stomach Diseases / physiopathology
  • Stomach Diseases / therapy