Gastric antral vascular ectasia (GAVE) is a cause of significant upper gastrointestinal bleeding that arises from vascular lesions in the gastric antrum. It was named the "watermelon stomach" by Jabbari et el based on its endoscopic appearance.


Affected patients are usually adult women. The age range for patients is 35 to 80 years.


Patients have recurrent episodes of upper gastrointestinal bleeding and usually develop iron deficiency anemia.


The endoscopic appearance consists of parallel hyperplastic mucosal folds with red stripes along the crest, resembling the surface of a watermelon.


The histologic appearance shows:

(1) ectatic mucosal capillaries which are congested and which may be thrombosed

(2) fibromuscular hyperplasia with hyalinosis in the lamina propria

(3) mild chronic gastritis

(4) no vascular malformations


Antrectomy stops the bleeding and corrects the anemia. Other treatments include:

(1) sclerotherapy

(2) treatment with corticosteroids

(3) multiple HeatProbe treatments (Olympus Corporation)


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