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Varices may remain asymptomatic.

The commonest presentation of symptomatic varices is brisk haematemesis. If the varices bleed slowly then the patient may present with melaena or anaemia. In many patients the stigmata of chronic liver disease, e.g. liver palms, spider naevi, ecchymoses, may be present. Large varices bleed and these usually accompany portal pressures of greater than 14mm Hg.

Last reviewed 01/2018

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