Esophageal uphill varices

John Barlow

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Imaging description Esophageal varices cause nonspecific thickening of the esophageal wall by CT without intravenous contrast material. After intravenous contrast material administration, varices enhance unless images are obtained very soon after contrast injection. As esophageal varices enlarge they become tortuous, tubular, and longitudinal (serpiginous) masses within the wall that cause lobulation of the esophageal lumen (Figures 40.1 and 40.2). They may be more prominent on the right side due to the presence of the descending aorta on the left. Esophageal uphill varices are often associated with CT findings of hepatic cirrhosis, splenomegaly, and gastric varices in the upper abdomen. Large varices have a higher risk of variceal hemorrhage. A conservative criterion for a large varix is a short-axis diameter of 3 mm or greater [1]. Paraesophageal varices are often associated with esophageal varices (Figure 40.3).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPearls and Pitfalls in Thoracic Imaging
Subtitle of host publicationVariants and Other Difficult Diagnoses
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9780511977701
ISBN (Print)9780521119078
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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