Background.: Screening for oesophageal varices represents an important part of the diagnostic work-up of cirrhotic patients. We have previously shown that the platelet count/spleen diameter ratio is a parameter that can rule out the presence of oesophageal varices safely and in a cost-effective fashion. Aim.: To evaluate the prognostic and diagnostic accuracy of the platelet count/spleen diameter ratio for ruling out the presence of oesophageal varices in the follow-up of a cohort of cirrhotic patients without oesophageal varices at inclusion. Methods.: After initial endoscopy, the 106 cirrhotic patients without oesophageal varices who participated in our previous study were followed-up with annual or biannual surveillance endoscopy. Patients were censored at the time of diagnosis of oesophageal varices or at their last visit, and at that time platelet count and spleen diameter were recorded. Sixty-eight patients made up the study cohort after excluding patients who were lost to follow-up or died before undergoing control endoscopy. Results.: During the follow-up, 27 patients (40%) developed oesophageal varices. Patients with higher baseline platelet count/spleen diameter ratios (p <0.0001) as well as a ratio above 909 were less likely to develop oesophageal varices (p <0.0005). At follow-up, a platelet count/spleen diameter ratio ≤909 had 100% negative predictive value and 84% efficiency in identifying the presence of oesophageal varices. Conclusions.: The use of the platelet count/spleen diameter ratio proved to be an effective means for ruling out the presence of oesophageal varices even in the longitudinal follow-up of patients.
- Oesophageal varices
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