Oesophageal varicose veins

Oesophageal varicose veins

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Caption: Oesophageal varicose veins. Endoscope view of varicose veins (varices) in the oesophagus due to portal hypertension (high blood pressure). In this case, portal hypertension was caused by a blood clot (thrombus) in the hepatic portal vein, which takes blood from the spleen, intestines and stomach to the liver. This causes the nearby veins in the oesophagus to widen. The veins may rupture, causing bouts of vomiting blood and black faeces. Surgery to reduce the pressure in the portal vein may effect a cure, or the veins can be injected with a sclerosant, which permanently clots them.

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