Management of massive peptic ulcer bleeding.

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Management of massive peptic ulcer bleeding.

Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2009 Jun;38(2):231-43

Authors: Cheung FK, Lau JY

Massive bleeding from a peptic ulcer remains a challenge. A multidisciplinary team of skilled endoscopists, intensive care specialists, experienced upper gastrointestinal surgeons, and intervention radiologists all have a role to play. Endoscopy is the first-line treatment. Even with larger ulcers, endoscopic hemostasis can be achieved in the majority of cases. Surgery is clearly indicated in patients in whom arterial bleeding cannot be controlled at endoscopy. Angiographic embolization is an alternate option, particularly in those unfit for surgery. In selected patients judged to belong to the high-risk group--ulcers 2 cm or greater in size located at the lesser curve and posterior bulbar duodenal, shock on presentation, and elderly with comorbid illnesses--a more aggressive postendoscopy management is warranted. The optimal course of action is unclear. Most would be expectant and offer medical therapy in the form of acid suppression. Surgical series suggest that early elective surgery may improve outcome. Angiography allows the bleeding artery to be characterized, and coil embolization of larger arteries may further add to endoscopic hemostasis. The role of early elective surgery or angiographic embolization in selected high-risk patients to forestall recurrent bleeding remains controversial. Prospective studies are needed to compare different management strategies in these high-risk ulcers.

PMID: 19446256 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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