Pressure in oesophageal varices has been measured either by using an invasive puncture technique, or a non-invasive pneumatic pressure sensor. Experience with these techniques and their limitations prompted a new way of measuring pressure in oesophageal varices. This was done by observing through a transparent plastic balloon fixed to the tip of a gastroscope the pressure equilibrium between the varix and the balloon. One hundred measurements on an experimental model showed the reliability of the system. Measurements on eight patients with the balloon followed immediately by the puncture technique, showed good correlation.
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