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Objective To determine the diagnostic accuracy of multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) in the detection of esophageal varices by taking endoscopy as the reference standard. Materials and methods This was a cross-sectional prospective study conducted at the Department of Radiology, Aga Khan University Hospital, (AKUH) Karachi, for the duration of 12 months from August 1, 2014 to July 31, 2015. One hundred ninety-six patients with a suspicion of chronic liver disease/cirrhosis undergoing 64 slice MDCT were enrolled in our study and underwent computed tomography (CT) scanning in the Department of Radiology at AKUH. Biphasic CT was performed with images obtained during the hepatic arterial phase (30-second delay) and the portal venous phase (65-second delay) after the intravenous (IV) injection of 120 mL of nonionic contrast material at a rate of 3.5 mL/s. The presence of esophageal varices was evaluated on MDCT with endoscopy as gold standard. The sensitivity, specificity, negative predictive value and positive predictive value, and accuracy of MDCT were assessed against the gold standard. Results Our results yielded an MDCT sensitivity of 98.96%, specificity of 100%, positive predictive value (PPV) of 100%, negative predictive value (NPV) of 66.67%, and diagnostic accuracy of 98.97% for esophageal varices in chronic liver disease (CLD) patients. Conclusion The rate of detection of esophageal varices in patients with chronic liver disease on MDCT in our country is comparable to the international data and we advocate that MDCT should be used as a screening tool in patients with chronic liver disease to exclude esophageal varices.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License