Watermelon stomach.

  • Marcinkiewicz A
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Abstract

Watermelon stomach (WMS) is an uncommon cause of chronic gastrointestinal blood loss, which once suspected can often be easily diagnosed and endoscopically managed in most cases. The current review intends to heighten the gastroenterologist's awareness of this condition to avoid costly delays in its diagnosis. The characteristic endoscopic appearance of WMS and the other variants of gastric vascular ectasia (GVE) are described. The conditions often associated with WMS are reviewed, including the recently described occurrence of WMS in bone marrow transplant patients presenting with acute upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage. We have clearly differentiated GVE from portal hypertensive gastropathy. The biopsy findings, although usually not required for diagnosis, are discussed. The theories of pathogenesis of WMS are presented and their relation to the observed phenomena is explored. Finally, the management of GVE, which essentially involves endoscopic application of thermal ablation methods, and the newer developments in the field, such as argon plasma coagulation, are discussed.

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Authors

  • A. Marcinkiewicz

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