Contrast-Enhanced CT May Identify High-Risk Esophageal Varices in Patients With Cirrhosis

Link to article at PubMed

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2020 Jul 1:1-7. doi: 10.2214/AJR.19.22474. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE. The Baveno VI consensus established guidelines to reduce unnecessary screening esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) for esophageal varices (EVs). We assessed whether EVs that would require intervention at EGD can be identified on CT and evaluated if recommending EGD on the basis of CT findings would result in unnecessary EGD according to the Baveno VI consensus guidelines. MATERIALS AND METHODS. This single-institution retrospective study identified 97 contrast-enhanced CT examinations within 3 months of EGD in 93 patients with cirrhosis from 2008 to 2018. Demographic information, EGD findings, interventions, and laboratory data were reviewed. CT scans were reviewed for EVs and compared with EGD findings. Var-ices that were 4 mm or larger were considered large, and those requiring intervention were considered high risk. RESULTS. The presence of large EVs on CT was 80% sensitive and 87% specific for high-risk varices at EGD. Large EVs on CT were associated with bleeding as the indication for EGD (p = 0.03) and the presence of high-risk varices at EGD (p < 0.001). The positive predictive value that a large EV on CT corresponded to a high-risk EV at EGD was 90.4% (95% CI, 0.78-0.96). Patients with large EVs on CT were 9.4 times more likely to have a grade III or grade IV EV at EGD. CONCLUSION. Large EVs on CT correlated with high-risk varices at EGD and may be a useful indicator that EGD should be considered for confirmatory diagnosis and treatment. Recommending EGD for patients with EVs of 4 mm or larger did not result in EGD that would be deemed unnecessary according to the Baveno VI consensus guidelines.

PMID:32755158 | DOI:10.2214/AJR.19.22474

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