The lesion is a tortuous arteriole in the wall of the GI tract (almost always in the upper stomach) that is believed to arise congenitally. It is usually asymptomatic until it presents with GI haemorrhage which can be life-threatening. It accounts for approximately 5% of upper GI haemorrhages.

Often no prodromal features prior to haematemesis and malaena, but this arteriovenous malformation may produce quite considerable haemorrhage and may be difficult to detect endoscopically


  • Incidence: 5.00 cases per 100,000 person-years
  • Peak incidence: 30-40 years
  • Sex ratio: 1:1
<1 1-5 6+ 16+ 30+ 40+ 50+ 60+ 70+ 80+

Clinical features