Pathololgy: GAVE

Gastric antral vascular ectasia (GAVE), or watermelon stomach is a cause of upper GI bleeding sometimes observed in the cirrhotic population. Often the ectatic vessels are petechial, seen in the antrum without the classic red stripes of a watermelon. This finding should not be confused with portal hypertensive gastropathy, which is usually more diffuse and not in a linear, antral pattern.

Risk factors include older age and female gender. The patient will often have iron deficiency anemia. Decreasing portal hypertension, via non-selective beta-blockade or TIPS, is typically ineffective; argon plasma cautery may halt the slow bleeding. Blood transfusions are sometimes necessary.

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