Risk assessment scores for patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding and their use in clinical practice.

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Risk assessment scores for patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding and their use in clinical practice.

Hosp Pract (1995). 2015 Dec;43(5):290-8

Authors: Waddell KM, Stanley AJ

Upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB) is a common cause for emergency admission to hospital representing a significant clinical as well as economic burden. UGIB encompasses a wide range of severities from life-threatening exsanguination to minor bleeding that may not require hospital admission. Patients with UGIB are often initially assessed and managed by junior doctors and non-gastroenterologists. Several risk scores have been created for the assessment of these patients, some requiring endoscopic data for calculation and others that are calculable from clinical data alone. A key question in clinical practice is how to accurately identify patients with UGIB at high risk of adverse outcome. Patients considered high risk are more likely to experience adverse outcomes and will require urgent intervention. In contrast, those patients with UGIB who are considered to be low risk could potentially be managed on an outpatient basis. The Glasgow Blatchford Score (GBS) appears best at identifying patients at low risk of requiring intervention or death and therefore may be best for use in clinical practice, allowing outpatient management in low risk cases. There has been some debate as to the optimal GBS cut-off score for safely identifying this low-risk group. Many guidelines suggest that patients with a GBS of zero can be safely managed as outpatients, but more recent studies have suggested that this threshold could potentially be safely increased to ≤1. Most other patients require inpatient endoscopy within 24 h and the full Rockall score remains important for risk assessment following endoscopy, particularly as it includes the endoscopic diagnosis. A minority of patients will require emergency endoscopy following resuscitation, but at present there is no evidence that risk scores can accurately identify this very high-risk group. Studies have shown the latest risk assessment score, the AIMS65, looks promising in the prediction of mortality. However, to date there is no data on the use of the AIMS65 in identifying low risk patients for possible outpatient management.

PMID: 26536295 [PubMed - in process]

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