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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Watermelon stomach


Other Names for this Disease
  • Gastric antral vascular ectasia
  • GAVE
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Overview



What is watermelon stomach?

What are the signs and symptoms of watermelon stomach?

What causes watermelon stomach?

How might watermelon stomach be treated?


What is watermelon stomach?

Watermelon stomach is a condition in which the lining of the stomach bleeds, causing it to look like the characteristic stripes of a watermelon when viewed by endoscopy.[1][2] Symptoms of watermelon stomach may include sudden, unexplained bleeding, chronic bleeding, and anemia. Other symptoms may include vomiting of blood and dark stools that contain blood.[1] Click here to view a diagram of the stomach.
Last updated: 11/7/2011

What are the signs and symptoms of watermelon stomach?

The most common symptom of watermelon stomach is unexplained gastrointestinal bleeding.[1][2][3] Melena (black, bloody stool) or hematemesis (vomiting blood) are less common symptoms.[1][2][3] In most patients, the chronic blood loss causes iron-deficiency anemia.[1][2][3]
Last updated: 11/7/2011

What causes watermelon stomach?

The exact cause of watermelon stomach is unknown.[1]
Last updated: 11/7/2011

How might watermelon stomach be treated?

Iron supplements and blood transfusions have been used with some success.[1]  Laser therapy and argon plasma coagulation are also being used to treat individuals who have watermelon stomach.[2][3]

We recommend you speak with your health care provider or a gastroenterologist to determine whether you require treatment and to discuss your treatment options. To find a local gastroenterologist we recommend that you contact your doctor for a referral. The following tool can also help you locate a specialist in your area.

The American College of Gastroenterology offers a Physician Locator service on its Web site at the link below.  You can search by Last Name, City, State or Zip Code.
http://www.acg.gi.org/patients/phylocator.asp
Last updated: 11/7/2011

References
  1. Brandt LJ. Feldman: Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease, 8th ed.. Philadelphia, PA : Saunders; 2006;
  2. Multiple Red Spots in the Antrum. Medscape Gastroenterology. 2002; http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/437024_2. Accessed 7/12/2011.
  3. Hauser SC. Vascular diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D. Goldman: Cecil Medicine, 23rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2007;