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Concept: Melena


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


We report the case of a 67 year old male who presented with a nine year history of a gastric ulcer with symptoms of hematemesis and melena. Histological analysis identified fibrotic lesions and the accumulation of immunoglobulin G4-positive plasma cells with no evidence of malignancy. The lesion extended into the pancreas, where histological lesions and gastric lesions were also observed. This is a case of an ulcerated gastric ulcer and pseudo-tumor with pancreatic affection that is associated with immunoglobulin G4-related disease.

Concepts: Medical terms, Peptic ulcer, Melena


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


Ectopic variceal bleeding is a rare (2-5%) but fatal gastrointestinal bleed in patients with portal hypertension. Patients with ectopic variceal bleeding manifest melena, hematochezia, or hematemesis, which require urgent managements. Definitive therapeutic modalities of ectopic varices are not yet standardized because of low incidence. Various therapeutic modalities have been applied on the basis of the experiences of experts or availability of facilities, with varying results.

Concepts: Gastroenterology, Esophageal varices, Melena


Ruptured hepatic artery pseudoaneurysm (HAP) generally leads to the hemobilia and can be diagnosed by endoscopy. This condition mostly occurs after an iatrogenic trauma. The management of the HAP is still a big challenge. Due to an increased rate of HAP cases over the last decade, appropriate management is necessary for the optimal outcomes achievement. Here, we report a 59-year-old woman presenting with hematemesis, melena, hematochezia, and epigastric pain. The CT scan of the abdomen showed intrahepatic biliay dilation with hypodense material, probably a clot inside it. Subsequently, the patient was transferred to an angiography unit. Celiac artery angiography demonstrated a right hepatic artery pseudoaneurysm, which subsequently embolized.

Concepts: Diagnosis, Common hepatic artery, Arteries of the abdomen, Melena


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


Upper gastrointestinal (UGI) bleeding is generally defined as bleeding proximal to the ligament of Treitz, which leads to hematemesis. There are several causes of UGI bleeding necessitating a detailed history to rule out comorbid conditions, medications, and possible exposures. In addition, the severity, timing, duration, and volume of the bleeding are important details to note for management purposes. Despite the source of the bleeding, acid suppression with a proton-pump inhibitor has been shown to be effective in minimizing rebleeding. Endoscopy remains the interventional modality of choice for both nonvariceal and variceal bleeds because it can be diagnostic and therapeutic.

Concepts: Medical emergencies, Digestive system, Gastroenterology, Bleeding, Source, Upper gastrointestinal bleeding, Suspensory muscle of the duodenum, Melena


Non-variceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB) is defined as bleeding proximal to the ligament of Treitz in the absence of oesophageal, gastric or duodenal varices. The clinical presentation varies according to the intensity of bleeding from occult bleeding to melena or haematemesis and haemorrhagic shock. Causes of UGIB are peptic ulcers, Mallory-Weiss lesions, erosive gastritis, reflux oesophagitis, Dieulafoy lesions or angiodysplasia. After admission to the hospital a structured approach to the patient with acute UGIB that includes haemodynamic resuscitation and stabilization as well as pre-endoscopic risk stratification has to be done. Endoscopy offers not only the localisation of the bleeding site but also a variety of therapeutic measures like injection therapy, thermocoagulation or endoclips. Endoscopic therapy is facilitated by acid suppression with proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy. These drugs are highly effective but the best route of application (oral vs intravenous) and the adequate dosage are still subjects of discussion. Patients with ulcer disease are tested for Helicobacter pylori and eradication therapy should be given if it is present. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have to be discontinued if possible. If discontinuation is not possible, cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors in combination with PPI have the lowest bleeding risk but the incidence of cardiovascular events is increased.

Concepts: Cyclooxygenase, Gastroenterology, Stomach, Helicobacter pylori, Peptic ulcer, Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, Hematemesis, Melena