Gastric antral vascular ectasia. A histologic and morphometric study of "the watermelon stomach".Am J Surg Pathol. 1987 Oct; 11(10):750-7.AJ
Gastric antral vascular ectasia (GAVE) is an uncommon but important cause of gastrointestinal blood loss and iron deficiency anemia that is characterized by a distinctive endoscopic appearance consisting of parallel erythematous folds traversing the gastric antrum. In order to clarify the histologic features of this lesion, nine antral biopsy specimens from seven patients with the clinical and endoscopic diagnosis of GAVE were reviewed and compared with specimens from normal controls and patients with other common antral lesions. Specimens obtained using standard endoscopic biopsy forceps were evaluated for mucosal vascularity, presence of intravascular fibrin thrombi, and the following histologic changes: mucosal inflammation, fibromuscular hyperplasia of lamina propria, epithelial regeneration, and mucosal architectural distortion. Mucosal vascularity was determined by counting the absolute number of vascular lumina per slide, measuring the mean cross-sectional area of each vessel lumen, and determining the percentage of each specimen occupied by vessels. Histologic changes were graded as absent to minimal, moderate, or marked. Significant differences (p less than 0.05) between GAVE and control groups were mean vessel cross-sectional area, percentage of area occupied by vessels, presence of intravascular fibrin thrombi, and fibromuscular hyperplasia. GAVE appears to demonstrate sufficiently distinctive histopathologic features to allow its recognition in antral biopsy specimens obtained by endoscopy.