Bleeding varices are a life-threatening complication of increased blood pressure in the portal vein caused by liver disease (portal hypertension). The portal vein carries blood from the intestine to the liver.
Increased pressure causes the veins to balloon outward. The vessels may break open (rupture). Any cause of chronic liver disease can cause bleeding varices
Drugs called beta blockers, such as propranolol and nadolol, are used to reduce the risk of bleeding. This type of treament is called "Esophageal Variceal Hemorrhage Prophylaxis".
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