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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 22 (2008), Issue 10, Pages 825-828
Original Article

Platelet Count to Spleen Diameter Ratio for the Diagnosis of Esophageal Varices: Is It Feasible?

Waqas Wahid Baig, MV Nagaraja, Muralidhar Varma, and Ravindra Prabhu

Department of Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Karnataka, India

Received 23 April 2008; Accepted 11 July 2008

Copyright © 2008 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


AIM: To study the value of platelet count to spleen diameter ratio as a noninvasive parameter for diagnosing esophageal varices (EVs) in liver cirrhosis.

METHODS: The laboratory and ultrasonographic variables were prospectively evaluated in 150 patients with liver cirrhosis. Only stable patients were included in the study. Patients with active gastrointestinal bleeding at the time of admission were excluded. All patients underwent screening upper gastrointestinal endoscopy.

RESULTS: The platelet count, spleen diameter and platelet count to spleen diameter ratio in patients with EVs were significantly different from patients without EVs. The platelet count to spleen diameter ratio had the highest accuracy among the three parameters. By applying receiver operating characteristic curves, a platelet count to spleen diameter ratio cut-off value of 1014 was obtained, which gave positive and negative predictive values of 95.4% and 95.1%, respectively. The accuracy of this cut-off value as evaluated by applying receiver operating characteristic curves was 0.942 (95% CI 0.890 to 0.995).

CONCLUSION: Among the noninvasive parameters studied, platelet count to spleen diameter ratio had the highest accuracy for diagnosing EVs. However, the evidence for the noninvasive diagnosis is not yet sufficient to replace endoscopy as a diagnostic screening tool for EVs in all cirrhotic patients. The platelet count to spleen diameter ratio may be a useful tool for diagnosing EVs in liver cirrhosis noninvasively when endoscopy facilities are not available.