Reliability of Plasma Von Willebrand Factor Antigen in Prediction of Esophageal Varices in Patients with Liver Cirrhosis


Background: Bleeding esophageal varices (OVs) due to portal hypertension are one of the major complications with high mortality in liver cirrhosis. So, early detection and management are mandatory. Aim: To evaluate the role of Von Willebrand factor (VWF) in predicting the presence of OVs. Patients and Methods: 62 patients with liver cirrhosis representing different Child-Pugh classes were included. The diagnosis of liver cirrhosis was based on the combination of clinical, laboratory and US examinations. All included patients underwent the following investigations: complete blood count, liver function tests (ALT, AST, serum bilirubin, albumin and total protein, prothrombin time (PT) and concentration (PC), INR and serum alkaline phosphatase), serum creatinine, Von Willebrand factor antigen (VWF-Ag) measurement and abdominal US. Upper endoscopic evaluation was done to detect presence or absence of varices (esophageal or gastric) and/or PHG. Results: 38 males and 24 females with their mean age (46 ± 12 years old) were included. Plasma Von Willebrand factor-Ag level was significantly higher in patients with OVs than those without varices (P value = 0.000). Also, its level was significantly higher in patients with higher grade of OVs, G3 than those with G1 or G2 (P value = 0.000). Patients with large OVs including those with G2 and G3 showed significantly higher values of VWF than those with small OVs (NO and G1) (P value = 0.000). VWF was independent predictor for detecting the presence of OVs with good sensitivity (90), specificity (77.3) and accuracy (85.5) at a cutoff value of 1.74 U/ml. Also it was an independent predictor for detecting the presence of large OVs with good sensitivity (91.2), specificity (85.7) and accuracy (88.7) at a cutoff value of 2.16 U/ml. Conclusion: VWF-Ag could be used as a non invasive laboratory independent predictor for the detection of OVs.

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Mahmoud, H. , Ghweil, A. , Bazeed, S. , Fayed, H. and Meguid, M. (2015) Reliability of Plasma Von Willebrand Factor Antigen in Prediction of Esophageal Varices in Patients with Liver Cirrhosis. Open Journal of Gastroenterology, 5, 49-57. doi: 10.4236/ojgas.2015.56010.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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