Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 307-311

Use of the platelet count/spleen diameter ratio for the noninvasive diagnosis of esophageal varices in patients with schistosomiasis


1 Department of Medicine, King Fahad Hospital, Armed Forces Hospitals Southern Region, Khamis Mushyt, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
3 Department of Radiology, King Fahad Hospital, Armed Forces Hospitals Southern Region, Khamis Mushayt, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Edoardo G Giannini
Gastroenterology Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Genoa, Viale Benedetto XV, No. 616132, Genoa
Italy
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.84483

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Background/Aim: In patients with liver cirrhosis, the platelet count/spleen diameter ratio has been validated as a parameter for the noninvasive diagnosis of esophageal varices. Schistosoma infection is a frequent cause of portal hypertension in Middle Eastern countries, and is associated with the development of esophageal varices. In this study we aimed to evaluate the platelet count/spleen diameter ratio as a noninvasive tool for the prediction of the presence of esophageal varices in patients with schistosoma-related chronic liver disease. Patients and Methods: Forty-three patients with hepatosplenic schistosomiasis underwent upper digestive endoscopy to check for the presence of esophageal varices. Furthermore, all patients underwent abdominal ultrasonography, and maximum spleen diameter (in mm) was measured. The platelet count/spleen diameter ratio was calculated in all patients. Results: Esophageal varices were found in 31 patients (72%). Age and gender were not significantly different between patients with and without varices. In patients with varices, median platelet count (82,000/μL versus 172,000/μL, P < 0.0001) and platelet count/spleen diameter ratio (571 versus 1651, P < 0.0001) were significantly lower, while spleen diameter (147 mm versus 109 mm, P = 0.0006) was significantly larger. In multivariate analysis, the platelet count/spleen diameter ratio was the only parameter independently associated with the presence of varices (P < 0.0001). Conclusions: In this study we have validated the use of the platelet count/spleen diameter ratio for the noninvasive diagnosis of esophageal varices in patients with portal hypertension caused by schistosoma infection. In these patients, the platelet count/spleen diameter ratio might be used to allow better rationalization of medical resources and use of endoscopy.


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