Esophageal varices are Porto-systemic collaterals ? i.e., vascular channels that link the portal venous and the systemic venous circulation. They form as a consequence of portal hypertension (a progressive complication of cirrhosis), preferentially in the sub mucosa of the lower esophagus.
Approximately 50% of patients with cirrhosis develop gastroesophageal varices. Gastric varices are present in 5?33% of patients with portal hypertension.The frequency of esophageal varices varies from 30% to 70% in patients with cirrhosis.
Treatments may include: Medications to reduce pressure in the portal vein and Using elastic bands to tie off bleeding veins.