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Recurrent bleeding from anorectal varices: successful treatment with a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt.

Anorectal varices are portal-systemic collaterals commonly found in patients with portal hypertension. Although these varices rarely bleed, when bleeding does occur it may be massive and life threatening. Anorectal varices may be mistaken for hemorrhoids and there is no agreed upon method for their definitive diagnosis. Additionally, there is no standard therapy for bleeding anorectal varices, and when techniques designed for the control of hemorrhoidal bleeding are employed the results can be disastrous. We report here the first use of a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) for the permanent control of bleeding anorectal varices. Magnetic resonance imaging/magnetic resonance venography (MRI/V) was used as a non-invasive method for the identification of anorectal varices and to confirm the successful decompression of these varices with TIPS placement. MRI/V and TIPS may provide significant advances in the diagnosis and treatment of rectal variceal bleeding.

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