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International Journal of Rheumatology
Volume 2015, Article ID 762546, 6 pages
Review Article

Gastric Antral Vascular Ectasia in Systemic Sclerosis: Current Concepts

1Universidad de los Andes, Hospital Universitario Fundación Sante Fe de Bogotá, Bogotá, Colombia
2School of Medicine, Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
3Department of Rheumatology, Hospital Universitario Fundación Santa fe de Bogotá, Bogota, Colombia
4School of Medicine, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota, Colombia

Received 2 September 2015; Revised 20 October 2015; Accepted 20 October 2015

Academic Editor: James R. Seibold

Copyright © 2015 Raphael Hernando Parrado et al. 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.


Introduction. Gastric antral vascular ectasia (GAVE) is a rare entity with unique endoscopic appearance described as “watermelon stomach.” It has been associated with systemic sclerosis but the pathophysiological changes leading to GAVE have not been explained and still remain uncertain. Methods. Databases Medline, Scopus, Embase, PubMed, and Cochrane were searched for relevant papers. The main search words were “Gastric antral vascular ectasia,” “Watermelon Stomach,” “GAVE,” “Scleroderma,” and “Systemic Sclerosis.” Fifty-four papers were considered for this review. Results. GAVE is a rare entity in the spectrum of manifestations of systemic sclerosis with unknown pathogenesis. Most patients with systemic sclerosis and GAVE present with asymptomatic anemia, iron deficiency anemia, or heavy acute gastrointestinal bleeding. Symptomatic therapy and endoscopic ablation are the first-line of treatment. Surgical approach may be recommended for patients who do not respond to medical or endoscopic therapies. Conclusion. GAVE can be properly diagnosed and treated. Early diagnosis is key in the management of GAVE because it makes symptomatic therapies and endoscopic approaches feasible. A high index of suspicion is critical. Future studies and a critical review of the current findings about GAVE are needed to understand the role of this condition in systemic sclerosis.