Esophageal Varices Underlying Cause
The portal vein carries nutrient rich blood from the intestines to the liver, which processes the nutrients. The veins around the lower esophagus and stomach empty into the portal vein.
Liver disease, such as hepatitis or cirrhosis, can obstruct the flow of blood through the liver. This causes blood to back-up into the portal vein, as well as the veins that supply the portal vein. In turn, this causes enlargement of the veins in the esophagus and stomach. The enlargement causes the walls of the veins to stretch and become thin. Severe bleeding can occur if the veins rupture.
Continue to Esophageal Varices Anatomy
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