GASTROLAB / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GASTROLAB / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Oesophageal varices. Endoscopic view of varices (dilated blood vessels) in a patient's oesophagus. Oesophageal varices are extremely dilated sub-mucosal veins (varices) in the lower third of the oesophagus. They are most often a consequence of portal hypertension - high blood pressure in the portal vein and its tributaries. Here, they are a result of primary biliary cirrhosis, an autoimmune disease of the liver, which causes slow progressive destruction of the small bile ducts.
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