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Concept: Hematemesis


GOALS:: To evaluate sources of upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB) at an urban US hospital and compare them to sources at the same center 20 years ago, and to assess clinical outcomes related to source of UGIB. BACKGROUND:: Recent studies suggest changes in causes and outcomes of UGIB. STUDY:: Consecutive patients with hematemesis, melena, and/or hematochezia undergoing upper endoscopy with an identified source at LA County+USC Medical Center from January 2005 to June 2011 were identified retrospectively. RESULTS:: Mean age of the 1929 patients was 52 years; 75% were male. A total of 1073 (55%) presented with hematemesis, 809 (42%) with melena alone, and 47 (2%) with hematochezia alone. The most common causes were ulcers in 654 patients (34%), varices in 633 (33%), and erosive esophagitis in 156 (8%), compared with 43%, 33%, and 2% in 1991. During hospitalization, 207 (10.7%) patients required repeat endoscopy for UGIB (10.6% for both ulcers and varices) and 129 (6.7%) died (5.2% for ulcers; 9.2% for varices). On multivariate analysis, hematemesis (OR=1.38; 95% CI, 1.04-1.88) and having insurance (OR=1.44; 95% CI, 1.07-1.94) were associated with repeat endoscopy for UGIB. Varices (OR=1.53; 95% CI, 1.05-2.22) and having insurance (OR=4.53; 95% CI, 2.84-7.24) were associated with mortality. CONCLUSION:: Peptic ulcers decreased modestly over 2 decades, whereas varices continue as a common cause of UGIB at an urban hospital serving lower socioeconomic patients. Inpatient mortality, but not rebleeding requiring endoscopy, was higher with variceal than nonvariceal UGIB, indicating patients with variceal UGIB remain at risk of death from decompensation of underlying illness even after successful control of bleeding.

Concepts: Hospital, Colonoscopy, Gastroenterology, Peptic ulcer, Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, Upper gastrointestinal bleeding, Hematemesis, Melena


Hematemesis and acute postsurgical upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage are common emergent on-call consultations for the interventional radiologist. Upper GI bleleding (UGIB) is a relatively frequent problem. The incidence and mortality vary among patient populations, but studies have shown an overall incidence ranging from 36-172 cases per 100,000 adults per year, with a mortality rate of 5%-14%. The incidence is significantly higher in men. Peptic ulcer disease is the predominant etiology, responsible for 28%-59% of UGIB. Other causes include varices, mucosal erosive disease, Mallory-Weiss syndrome, and malignancy. After assessment of hemodynamic status and airway stability with resuscitative efforts as needed, initial consultation with gastroenterology for endoscopic evaluation and treatment is well regarded as the initial therapeutic strategy. Angiography with embolization and interventional techniques directed at managing variceal hemorrhage have emerged as very capable second-line strategies for patients who have failed endoscopic therapy. In certain circumstances, the interventional radiologist may be called upon as the first line, notably for patients who have had recent surgical intervention or who have extraluminal hemorrhage. As the role of the interventional radiologist in the evaluation and treatment of UGIB continues to evolve, familiarity and knowledge of how to deal with these urgent and emergent clinical scenarios becomes paramount.

Concepts: Surgery, Gastroenterology, Peptic ulcer, Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, Interventional radiology, Upper gastrointestinal bleeding, Hematemesis, Melena


The aim of this study was to review the aetiology, presentation and management of these patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB) at a tertiary children’s unit in the United Kingdom. This was a retrospective single-institution study on children (<16 years) who presented with acute UGIB over a period of 5 years using known International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes. A total of 32 children (17 males, 15 females) were identified with a total median age at presentation of 5.5 years. The majority (24/32) of patients presented as an emergency. A total of 19/32 presented with isolated haematemesis, 8/32 with isolated melaena and 5/32 with a combination of melaena and haematemesis. On admission, the mean haemoglobin of patients who presented with isolated haematemesis was 11 g/dL, those with isolated melaena 9.3 g/dL and those with a combination 7.8 g/dL. Blood transfusion was required in 3/19 with haematemesis and 3/5 with haematemesis and melaena. A total of 19/32 underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. Endoscopic findings were oesophageal varices (5/19) of which 4 required banding; bleeding gastric ulcer (1/19) requiring clips, haemospray and adrenaline; gastric vascular malformation (1/19) treated with Argon plasma coagulation therapy; duodenal ulcer (3/19) which required surgery in two cases; oesophagitis (5/19); and gastritis +/- duodenitis (3/19). A total of 13/32 patients did not undergo endoscopy and the presumed aetiology was a Mallory-Weiss tear (4/13); ingestion of foreign body (2/13); gastritis (3/13); viral illness (1/13); unknown (2/13). While UGIB is uncommon in children, the morbidity associated with it is very significant. Melaena, dropping haemoglobin, and requirement for a blood transfusion appear to be significant markers of an underlying cause of UGIB that requires therapeutic intervention. A multi-disciplinary team comprising gastroenterologists and surgeons is essential.

Concepts: Gastroenterology, Stomach, Peptic ulcer, Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, Endoscopy, Upper gastrointestinal bleeding, Hematemesis, Melena


CASE DESCRIPTION A 6-year-old castrated male Boxer was evaluated for a 5-week history of frequent vomiting, melena, and signs of abdominal pain following accidental ingestion of 5 to ten 15-mg meloxicam tablets (approx ingested dose, 3.1 to 6.2 mg/kg [1.4 to 2.8 mg/lb]). CLINICAL FINDINGS Clinical signs persisted despite 3 weeks of treatment with sucralfate (41.8 mg/kg [19 mg/lb], PO, q 8 h) and omeprazole (0.8 mg/kg [0.36 mg/lb], PO, q 24 h). Results of a CBC and serum biochemical analysis were unremarkable. Abdominal ultrasonography revealed peptic ulceration, and esophagogastroduodenoscopy confirmed the presence of severe proximal duodenal ulceration. TREATMENT AND OUTCOME A radiotelemetric pH-monitoring capsule was placed in the gastric fundus under endoscopic guidance for continuous at-home monitoring of intragastric pH and response to treatment. Treatment was continued with sucralfate (as previously prescribed) and omeprazole at an increased administration frequency (0.8 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h). Intragastric pH was consistently ≥ 3.0 for > 75% of the day during treatment, with the exception of 1 day when a single dose of omeprazole was inadvertently missed. Ulceration and clinical signs completely resolved. CLINICAL RELEVANCE Continuous radiotelemetric monitoring of intragastric pH in the dog of this report was useful for confirming that treatment achieved a predetermined target pH and for demonstrating the impact of missed doses. Duodenal ulceration resolved with twice-daily but not once-daily omeprazole administration. Findings suggested that twice-daily administration of omeprazole may be necessary to achieve this target pH and that a pH ≥ 3.0 for 75% of the day may promote healing of peptic ulcers in dogs.

Concepts: Dose, Abdominal pain, Stomach, Helicobacter pylori, Peptic ulcer, Dog, Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, Hematemesis


We describe a rare case of a 60-year-old man with known history of peptic ulcer disease who presented with melena and epigastric pain secondary to coil migration into duodenal mucosa 4 years after the initial therapeutic embolisation of the gastroduodenal artery. Upper endoscopy revealed oozing duodenal ulcer at the same site of the previously located duodenal ulcer 4 years ago and metal coil impacted at the duodenal mucosa. It is unclear if the coil migration is the effect or the cause of the bleeding duodenal ulcer. Our patient was treated by surgical intervention due to failed endoscopic haemostasis and medical management.

Concepts: Medicine, Surgery, Gastroenterology, Stomach, Peptic ulcer, Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, Hematemesis, Melena


Background and study aims: The hemostatic powder TC-325 (Hemospray; Cook Medical, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA) has shown promising results in the treatment of upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB) in expert centers in pilot studies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of TC-325 in a large prospective registry of use in routine practice. Patients and methods: The data of all patients treated with TC-325 were prospectively collected through a national registry. Outcomes were the immediate feasibility and efficacy of TC-325 application, as well as the rates of rebleeding at Day 8 and Day 30. Multivariate analysis was performed to determine predictive factors of rebleeding. Results: A total of 202 patients were enrolled and 64 endoscopists participated from 20 centers. TC-325 was used as salvage therapy in 108 patients (53.5 %). The etiology of bleeding was an ulcer in 75 patients (37.1 %), tumor in 61 (30.2 %), postendoscopic therapy in 35 (17.3 %), or other in 31 (15.3 %). Application of the hemostatic powder was found to be very easy or easy in 31.7 % and 55.4 %, respectively. The immediate efficacy rate was 96.5 %. Recurrence of UGIB was noted at Day 8 and Day 30 in 26.7 % and 33.5 %, respectively. Predictive factors of recurrence at Day 8 were melena at initial presentation and use of TC-325 as salvage therapy. Conclusion: These multicenter data confirmed the high rate of immediate hemostasis, excellent feasibility, and good safety profile of TC-325, which could become the treatment of choice in bleeding tumors or postendoscopic bleeding but not in bleeding ulcers where randomized studies are needed.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Tumor, Gastroenterology, Hemostasis, Peptic ulcer, North Carolina, Upper gastrointestinal bleeding, Hematemesis


Introduction Acute gastrointestinal stress ulceration is a common and serious complication of trauma. Prophylactic proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or histamine receptor antagonists have been used in poly-trauma, burns and head and spinal injuries, as well as on intensive care units, for the prevention of acute gastric stress ulcers. Methods We prospectively studied the use of prophylactic PPIs in with femoral neck fracture patients, gathering data on all acute gastric ulcer complications, including coffee-ground vomiting, malena and haematemesis. We then implemented a treatment protocol in which all patients were given prophylactic PPIs, again prospectively collecting all data. Results Five hundred and fifteen patients were included. Prior to prophylactic PPI, 15% of patients developed gastric stress ulcer complications, with 3% requiring acute intervention with oesophagogastroduodenoscopy (OGD), 5% requiring transfusions and 4% experiencing surgical delays. All patients had delayed discharges. Following PPI implementation, no patients developed gastric stress ulcer complications. Conclusions Femoral neck fracture patients create a substantial workload for orthopaedic units. The increasingly elderly population often have comorbidities, and concomitantly use medications with gastrointestinal side effects. This, combined with the stress of a fracture and preoperative starvation periods increases the risk of gastric ulcers. Here, the use of prophylactic PPIs statistically reduced the incidence of gastric stress ulcers in patients with femoral neck fractures, resulting in fewer surgical delays, reduced length of hospital stay and reduced stress ulcer-related mortality.

Concepts: Bone fracture, Intensive care medicine, Gastroenterology, Stomach, Peptic ulcer, Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, H2 antagonist, Hematemesis


Mallory-Weiss tears (MWTs) rarely require surgical intervention. A 60-year-old female presented with massive hematemesis secondary to MWT and gastric ulceration. After failure of endoscopic management, an operative approach was embarked on, with a direct surgical hemostasis of the Mallory-Weiss tear and exclusion of the gastric ulcer. This exclusion strategy may be applicable for other patients with uncontrolled upper gastrointestinal bleeding in whom a simple repair would be difficult.

Concepts: Surgery, Gastroenterology, Peptic ulcer, Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, Tears, Upper gastrointestinal bleeding, Hematemesis, Melena


Esophageal diverticula are rare findings that have an estimated incidence of 1 per 500 000 people per year, even though acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding is a relatively common medical emergency with an incidence of up to 150 per 100 000 people per year and a mortality rate of 7-14%. An 83-year-old man presented with hematemesis and melena. Urgent upper endoscopy revealed an esophageal diverticulum, within which was an adherent clot. Removal of the clot identified a bleeding vessel within the diverticulum; this was successfully clipped and hemostasis was achieved. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case report of a bleeding epiphrenic esophageal diverticulum that was successfully managed endoscopically with hemostatic clips alone. While rare, our case serves as a reminder that bleeding epiphrenic esophageal diverticula can present as massive upper gastrointestinal bleeding and urgent endoscopic therapy can be life-saving.

Concepts: Colonoscopy, Hemostasis, Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, Endoscopy, Upper gastrointestinal bleeding, Hematemesis


An 86-year-old man was admitted with a 3-day history of melaena and syncope. He was haemodynamically compromised and anaemic on presentation. His only medical history was mild Alzheimer’s disease diagnosed 6 months prior. For this, he was on donepezil, a cholinesterase inhibitor (ChEI), with a recent dose increase 3 months earlier. After fluid resuscitation with packed red cells, an endoscopy was performed, which showed an acute duodenal ulcer. This was treated with a high-dose proton pump inhibitor. The patient recovered well and was discharged on donepezil with the addition of a gastro-protective proton pump inhibitor. In view of other absent risk factors of upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage, donepezil was the likely causative agent. ChEIs are associated with frequent side effects and increased hospitalisation due to central and peripheral increase in acetylcholine. With this case report, we review the literature of side effects related to ChEIs, where the mechanisms of action, complications and appropriate management are discussed.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Gastroenterology, Acetylcholine, Peptic ulcer, Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, Donepezil, Hematemesis