Gastric Antral Vascular Ectasia Pathogenesis and the Link to the Metabolic Syndrome

  • Elliot Smith
  • Jessica Davis
  • Stephen CaldwellEmail author
Stomach and Duodenum (J Pisegna and J Benhammou, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Stomach and Duodenum


Purpose of Review

Gastric antral vascular ectasia (GAVE) is a well-described source of chronic blood loss. We aim to review the previously hypothesized etiologies of GAVE and focus on recent proposed mechanisms, including metabolic syndrome. We will support these theories with newly discovered clinical associations and possible therapeutic implications.

Recent Findings

Historically, GAVE has been associated with connective tissue disease and liver disease. Based on these associations and its histologic appearance, GAVE has presumed to be caused by mechanical- and hormonally mediated injury. Recent findings have been notable for a clinical association with aspects of the metabolic syndrome. Therefore, the pathogenic etiology may be akin to aspects of the metabolic syndrome via microvascular injury and neoangiogenesis.


The potential etiologies of GAVE include hypergastrinemia, mechanical injury, and microvascular injury with neovascular proliferation particularly in the metabolic syndrome. Further research is needed to evaluate these proposed mechanisms and potential targets for treatment.


GAVE Gastric antral vascular ectasia Metabolic syndrome Pathophysiology Motility Gastrin 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major Importance

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Gastroenterology and HepatologyUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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