We wanted to evaluate the short-term effects of balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration (BRTO) for treating gastric variceal bleeding, in terms of the portal hypertensive changes, by comparing CT scans.
We enrolled 27 patients who underwent BRTO for gastric variceal bleeding and they had CT scans performed just before and after BRTO. The pre- and post-procedural CT scans were retrospectively compared by two radiologists working in consensus to evaluate the short-term effects of BRTO on the subsequent portal hypertensive changes, including ascites, splenomegaly, portosystemic collaterals (other than gastrorenal shunt), the gall bladder (GB) edema and the intestinal wall edema. Statistical differences were analyzed using the Wilcoxon signed rank test and the paired t-test.
Following BRTO, ascites developed or was aggravated in 22 (82%) of 27 patients and it was improved in two patients; the median spleen volumes increased from 438.2 cm 3 to 580.8 cm 3, and based on a 15% volume change cut-off value, splenic enlargement occurred in 15 (56%) of the 27 patients. The development of new collaterals or worsening of existing collaterals was not observed in any patient. GB wall edema developed or was aggravated in four of 23 patients and this disappeared or improved in five; intestinal wall edema developed or was aggravated in nine of 27 patients, and this disappeared or improved in five. Statistically, we found significant differences for ascites and the splenic volumes before and after BRTO ( p = 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively).