Hepatic cirrhosis, alcohol and haemorrhage.N Z Med J. 1976 Oct 13; 84(573):269-70.NZ
Fifty consecutive patients with cirrhosis of the liver were investigated, including 29 with gastrointestinal haemorrhage. Over two-thirds of these patients gave a history of heavy alcohol intake. The necessity for fibre-endoscopy is stressed in that barium studies alone showed oesophageal varices in only 40 percent of patients and erosive lesions were often present. Gastric varices, demonstrated by gastrophotography in 25 percent of patients with portal hypertension, were not readily detectable by standard barium meal or endoscopy. Radio-isotope scanning of the liver and spleen was invaluable in supporting not only the diagnosis of cirrhosis, but also the presence of portal hypertension, since the spleen was palpable in only 50 percent of such patients.