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Radiofrequency ablation using Barrx® for the endoscopic treatment of gastric antral vascular ectasia: a series of three cases and a review of the literature on treatment options

Authors Patel A, Patel S, Wickremesinghe PC, Vadada D

Received 3 January 2015

Accepted for publication 9 June 2015

Published 10 July 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 113—120


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Andreas M Kaiser

Anish Patel, Sunil Patel, Prasanna C Wickremesinghe, Deepak Vadada

Department of Gastrointestinal Medicine, Richmond University Medical Center, Staten Island, NY, USA

Abstract: Gastric antral vascular ectasia (GAVE), also known as “watermelon stomach”, is an uncommon condition, which can cause gastrointestinal bleeding due to rupture of blood vessels that line the stomach. The pathogenesis of GAVE remains unclear; however it is thought that hemodynamic changes, mechanical stress, and autoimmune factors all have a part to play. A range of conditions are also commonly associated with the syndrome, such as portal hypertensive gastropathy, liver cirrhosis, and autoimmune disorders. Less commonly, chronic renal failure, cardiac diseases, and bone marrow transplantation have coexisted with GAVE. The diagnosis is usually based on visualization of the tissue upon endoscopy; however, histology plays a role in uncertain cases. The typical “watermelon” appearance relates to the tissue having a striped appearance radiating out from the pylorus. Medical treatment has failed to show satisfactory results and surgery is usually considered as a last resort, due to its increased risk for complications and mortality. Lasers and argon plasma coagulation have been used recently, and been shown to be as effective as surgery and a safer option. We present three cases of gastric antral vascular ectasia treated at our institution with radiofrequency ablation and review the literature on treatment modalities for GAVE.

Keywords: gastric antral vascular ectasia, radiofrequency ablation, Barrx, endoscopic treatment

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