Indexed on: 22 Apr '05Published on: 22 Apr '05Published in: Endoscopy
Figures for the prevalence of anorectal varices and portal hypertensive colopathy have varied considerably in the available studies of patients with cirrhosis, and few studies have observed these changes in patients with extrahepatic portal vein obstruction (EHPVO). Our aim was to investigate the colonic changes, if any, in patients with EHPVO and to compare them with those seen in patients with cirrhosis of the liver.A total of 50 patients with cirrhosis and 35 patients with EHPVO, all of whom had a history of at least one episode of bleeding from esophageal varices, underwent both upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and colonoscopy.Anorectal varices were seen more commonly in patients with EHPVO than in patients with cirrhosis (63 % vs. 38 %, P < 0.03). Of the patients with anorectal varices, large anorectal varices were also more common in patients with EHPVO than in patients with cirrhosis (73 % vs. 32 %, P < 0.01). Colopathy was noted in 40 % of patients with EHPVO and in 62 % of patients with cirrhosis (P < 0.05). Of the patients with EHPVO, colopathy was noted in 27 % of patients who also had anorectal varices and in 61.5 % of patients without anorectal varices (P < 0.05). Similarly, patients with both cirrhosis and anorectal varices were found to have a lower prevalence of colopathy than cirrhotic patients without anorectal varices (42 % vs. 74 %, P < 0.03).Anorectal varices are more common in patients with EHPVO, while portal hypertensive colopathy is more common in patients with cirrhosis. Large anorectal varices are also more common in patients with EHPVO than in patients with cirrhosis and there is an inverse relationship between anorectal varices and colopathy in both cirrhotic patients and patients with EHPVO.