Gastric mucosal bleeding time was measured prospectively in 25 patients with cirrhosis and portal hypertension undergoing routine sclerotherapy. Age and sex-matched controls without liver disease were also studied. Correlations were sought between gastric mucosal bleeding time and age, platelet count, prothrombin time, skin bleeding time, Child-Pugh score, variceal size before sclerotherapy, and degree of portal hypertensive gastropathy. Gastric bleeding time was prolonged in 12% of the patients with cirrhosis (mean, 3.24 minutes; SEM, 0.476) and in none of the controls (mean, 3.0; SEM, 0.171). No correlation was noted between gastric bleeding time and any of the above variables. The results of this study indicate that gastric mucosal bleeding time is prolonged in cirrhosis but is an independent physiologic parameter unrelated to any of the above-mentioned variables.