Portal-hypertensive gastropathy

J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1998 Sep;13(9):865-77. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.1998.tb00754.x.


In the present article we describe updated information concerning the clinical feature of portal-hypertensive gastropathy (PHG), which is characterized by mucosal and submucosal vascular dilatation without inflammation. Although this lesion represents non-variceal bleeding, there is a wide variation of its prevalence. Portal pressure and some humoral factors may play important roles in its pathogenesis. Gastric acid secretory activity is reduced, whereas the gastric mucosal barrier is impaired. With regard to gastric mucosal haemodynamics, whether 'overflow' (i.e. active congestion) or 'stasis' (i.e. passive congestion) cause gastric mucosal hyperaemia is not known. A severe lesion is a potential source of bleeding, while mild lesions are of little clinical significance and endoscopic variceal obliteration aggravates PHG in some patients. In the treatment of PHG, pharmacological (e.g. propranolol), surgical (e.g. portosystemic shunt) and radiological (e.g. transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt) procedures may be useful in preventing bleeding from PHG.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Esophageal and Gastric Varices / diagnosis
  • Esophageal and Gastric Varices / etiology*
  • Esophageal and Gastric Varices / therapy
  • Gastric Acid / metabolism
  • Gastric Mucosa / blood supply
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / diagnosis
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / therapy
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Portal / complications*
  • Portasystemic Shunt, Transjugular Intrahepatic
  • Propranolol / therapeutic use


  • Propranolol