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 [vār´iks] (L.)
an enlarged, tortuous vein, artery, or lymphatic vessel.
aneurysmal varix a markedly dilated tortuous vessel; sometimes used to denote a form of arteriovenous aneurysm in which the blood flows directly into a neighboring vein without the intervention of a connecting sac.
arterial varix a racemose aneurysm or varicose artery.
esophageal varices varicosities of branches of the azygous vein which anastomose with tributaries of the portal vein in the lower esophagus; due to portal hypertension in cirrhosis of the liver.
lymph varix (varix lympha´ticus) a soft, lobulated swelling of a lymph node due to obstruction of lymphatic vessels.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


, pl.


(var'iks, var'i-sēz),
1. A dilated vein.
2. An enlarged and tortuous vein, artery, or lymphatic vessel.
[L. varix (varic-), a dilated vein]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


n. pl. var·ices (-ĭ-sēz′)
An abnormally dilated or swollen vein, artery, or lymph vessel.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


Surgery An enlarged and convoluted vein, artery or lymphatic vessel. See Varicose veins.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


, pl. varices (var'iks, -i-sēz)
1. A dilated vein.
2. An enlarged and tortuous vein, artery, or lymphatic vessel.
[L. varix (varic-), a dilated vein]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


(var'iks) (var'i-sez?) plural.varices [L., twisted or dilated vein]
1. A tortuous dilatation of a vein. See: varicose vein
2. Less commonly, dilatation of an artery or lymph vessel.

aneurysmal varix

A direct communication between an artery and a varicose vein without an intervening sac.

arterial varix

A varicosity or dilation of an artery.

chyle varix

A varix of a lymphatic vessel that conveys chyle.
Enlarge picture

esophageal varix

A tortuous dilatation of an esophageal vein, esp. in the distal portion. It results from any condition that causes portal hypertension, typically cirrhosis of the liver. Müller's maneuver; illustration


If an esophageal varix bursts, massive hemorrhage occurs, and the patient may die within minutes.


Medical treatment includes administration of a beta blocker, such as nadolol, with a nitrate, such as isosorbide, to lower portal pressures and decrease the likelihood of variceal bleeding. Invasive therapies include the injection of sclerosing agents or rubber banding of the dilated vein.

Patient care

Bleeding esophageal varices constitute a medical emergency, requiring immediate treatment to control hemorrhage and prevent hypovolemic shock. The patient’s vital signs, SaO2, ABGs, electrolyte and fluid volume balance, and level of consciousness are closely monitored. Intravenous access must be established promptly and fluid resuscitation, followed by transfusion and the administration of plasma are critical to early stabilization of the patient. Medical therapies also include the use of vasoconstricting drugs, such as vasopression. Endoscopy is used to identify the site of the ruptured vessels which may then be treated with sclerotherapy, ligation, or banding.

Surgical procedures to prevent rebleeding include portocaval or mesocaval shunts, portosystemic anastomosis, splenorenal shunting or liver transplantation. All procedures are explained, sensation messages provided, and reassurance and emotional support offered.

lymphaticus varix

Dilatation of a lymphatic vessel.

turbinal varix

Permanent dilatation of veins of turbinate bodies.
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners


Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005


, pl. varices (var'iks, -i-sēz)
1. A dilated vein.
2. An enlarged and tortuous vein, artery, or lymphatic vessel.
[L. varix (varic-), a dilated vein]
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012