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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 818-822

Prevalence of splenic vein thrombosis and risk of gastrointestinal bleeding in chronic pancreatitis patients attending a tertiary hospital in western India

Department of Gastroenterology, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College and Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vikas Pandey
Department of Gastroenterology, Room No 13, 1st Floor, College Building, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College and Hospital, Mumbai - 400 022, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_414_18

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Background: Splenic vein thrombosis (SVT) is most commonly caused by acute and chronic pancreatitis (CP). Variceal gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is a potentially life-threatening event in such patients. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of SVT in CP patients and the risk of variceal GI bleeding. Materials and Methods: A total of 187 consecutive patients with a diagnosis of CP were assessed for the presence of SVT at the gastroenterology department of a tertiary care hospital. Thirty seven patients had evidence of SVT. Patients with portal vein thrombosis or cirrhosis were excluded. Potential factors associated with SVT were assessed. Results: Of the 187 CP patients assessed, 37 patients (19.8%) (male 33; female 4; mean age 41.9 years) had evidence of SVT. Among patients with SVT, most common etiology of CP was alcohol abuse (70.3%). Seven patients (18.9%) with SVT presented with clinically significant upper GI bleeding. The source of GI bleeding was gastric varices in three patients (8.1%) and non-variceal source in four patients (10.8%). All three patients with gastric varices were managed by splenectomy. There were no new variceal bleeding episodes in other 33 patients (89.2%) during mean follow-up of 16.4 months. On comparison of patients with and without SVT, the factors associated with significantly higher incidence of SVT were smoking (P = 0.019, odds ratio 3.021, 95% confidence interval 1.195–7.633) and presence of pseudocyst (P = 0.008, odds ratio 3.743, 95% confidence interval 1.403–9.983). Complete resolution of SVT was seen in three patients (8.1%) after resolution of underlying pseudocyst. Conclusion: SVT is a common complication of CP, particularly in patients with pseudocysts and history of smoking. Most patients remain asymptomatic and the risk of variceal bleeding is low. Splenectomy is the treatment of choice in patients with variceal bleeding. Conservative approach is preferred in other patients. Resolution of pseudocysts may lead to resolution of SVT in some patients.

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