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October 6, 1951

DETERMINATION OF VENOUS PRESSURE WITHIN ESOPHAGEAL VARICES

Author Affiliations

Medical Corps, United States Army

From the Gastrointestinal Section, Walter Reed Army Hospital, Washington, D. C.

JAMA. 1951;147(6):570-571. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.73670230007008d

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Abstract

A knowledge of the pressure within esophageal varices may be important in evaluating the success of short-circuiting operations for portal hypertension. The theoretical and practical implications of such information are quite obvious, particularly as they apply to immediate estimations of the patency of the shunt, possible sources of hemorrhage continued in the postoperative period, and slight changes in the postoperative portal pressure with the passage of time.

Measurements of the pressure may be made during esophagoscopy with the simple equipment used for the sclerosing treatment of esophageal varices—esophagoscope and injecting needle—plus a water manometer such as that used in determining spinal fluid pressure. But as simple as is the equipment, the technique is very difficult, and one is often hard put to judge the validity of the readings obtained. One of the two main difficulties is that of accomplishing the procedure without exerting pressure on the more proximal segment of

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