Items in AFP with MESH term: Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage

A New View of Occult and Obscure Gastrointestinal Bleeding - Article

ABSTRACT: Occult gastrointestinal bleeding usually is discovered when fecal occult blood test results are positive or iron deficiency anemia is detected. Fecal occult blood testing methods vary, but all have limited sensitivity and specificity. The initial work-up for occult bleeding typically involves colonoscopy or esophagogastroduodenoscopy, or both. In patients without symptoms indicating an upper gastrointestinal tract source or in patients older than 50 years, colonoscopy usually is performed first. About one half of patients with gastrointestinal bleeding do not have an obvious source of the bleeding. In those patients, small bowel imaging or repeat panendoscopy may be performed. Barium studies of the small bowel are widely available but have limited diagnostic utility. Mucosal lesions such as vascular ectasias, a common cause of obscure bleeding, may be missed by small bowel studies. Small bowel endoscopy is difficult to perform but has a higher diagnostic yield. Capsule endoscopy is a newer technique that allows noninvasive small bowel imaging. Radionuclide red blood cell scans or angiography may be useful in patients with active bleeding. Treatment of bleeding most often involves endoscopic ablation of the bleeding site with thermal energy, if the site is accessible. Angiographic embolization may be used to treat lesions that cannot be reached endoscopically. Diffuse vascular lesions, which are not uncommon, are difficult to treat. Medical treatment, usually with combined hormone therapy, has limited utility. Surgical treatment of obscure bleeding often fails or is not feasible because of multiple bleeding sites.

Diagnosis of Gastrointestinal Bleeding in Adults - Article

ABSTRACT: The clinical evaluation of gastrointestinal bleeding depends on the hemodynamic status of the patient and the suspected source of the bleeding. Patients presenting with upper gastrointestinal or massive lower gastrointestinal bleeding, postural hypotension, or hemodynamic instability require inpatient stabilization and evaluation. The diagnostic tool of choice for all cases of upper gastrointestinal bleeding is esophagogastroduodenoscopy; for acute lower gastrointestinal bleeding, it is colonoscopy, or arteriography if the bleeding is too brisk. When bleeding cannot be identified and controlled, intraoperative enteroscopy or arteriography may help localize the bleeding source, facilitating segmental resection of the bowel. If no upper gastrointestinal or large bowel source of bleeding is identified, the small bowel can be investigated using a barium-contrast upper gastrointestinal series with small bowel follow-through, enteroclysis, push enteroscopy, technetium-99m-tagged red blood cell scan, arteriography, or a Meckel's scan. These tests may be used alone or in combination.

Diverticular Bleeding - Article

ABSTRACT: Diverticular bleeding is a common cause of lower gastrointestinal hemorrhage. Patients typically present with massive and painless rectal hemorrhage. If bleeding is severe, initial resuscitative measures should include airway maintenance and oxygen supplementation, followed by measurement of hemoglobin and hematocrit levels, and blood typing and crossmatching. Patients may need intravenous fluid resuscitation with normal saline or lactated Ringer's solution, followed by transfusion of packed red blood cells in the event of ongoing bleeding. Diverticular hemorrhage resolves spontaneously in approximately 80 percent of patients. If there is severe bleeding or significant comorbidities, patients should be admitted to the intensive care unit. The recommended initial diagnostic test is colonoscopy, performed within 12 to 48 hours of presentation and after a rapid bowel preparation with polyethylene glycol solutions. If the bleeding source is identified by colonoscopy, endoscopic therapeutic maneuvers can be performed. These may include injection with epinephrine or electrocautery therapy. If the bleeding source is not identified, radionuclide imaging (i.e., technetium-99m-tagged red blood cell scan) should be performed, usually followed by arteriography. For ongoing diverticular hemorrhage, other therapeutic modalities such as selective embolization, intra-arterial vasopressin infusion, or surgery, should be considered.

NSAID Prescribing Precautions - Article

ABSTRACT: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used, but have risks associated with their use, including significant upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding. Older persons, persons taking anticoagulants, and persons with a history of upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding associated with NSAIDs are at especially high risk. Although aspirin is cardioprotective, other NSAIDs can worsen congestive heart failure, can increase blood pressure, and are related to adverse cardiovascular events, such as myocardial infarction and ischemia. Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors have been associated with increased risk of myocardial infarction; however, the only cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor still available in the United States, celecoxib, seems to be safer in this regard. Hepatic damage from NSAIDs is rare, but these medications should not be used in persons with cirrhotic liver diseases because bleeding problems and renal failure are more likely. Care should be used when prescribing NSAIDs in persons taking anticoagulants and in those with platelet dysfunction, as well as immediately before surgery. Potential central nervous system effects include aseptic meningitis, psychosis, and tinnitus. Asthma may be induced or exacerbated by NSAIDs. Although most NSAIDs are likely safe in pregnancy, they should be avoided in the last six to eight weeks of pregnancy to prevent prolonged gestation from inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis, premature closure of the ductus arteriosus, and maternal and fetal complications from antiplatelet activity. Ibuprofen, indomethacin, and naproxen are safe in breastfeeding women. Care should be taken to prevent accidental NSAID overdose in children by educating parents about correct dosing and storage in childproof containers.

Diagnosis and Management of Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding - Article

ABSTRACT: Upper gastrointestinal bleeding causes significant morbidity and mortality in the United States, and has been associated with increasing nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use and the high prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection in patients with peptic ulcer bleeding. Rapid assessment and resuscitation should precede the diagnostic evaluation in unstable patients with severe bleeding. Risk stratification is based on clinical assessment and endoscopic findings. Early upper endoscopy (within 24 hours of presentation) is recommended in most patients because it confirms the diagnosis and allows for targeted endoscopic treatment, including epinephrine injection, thermocoagulation, application of clips, and banding. Endoscopic therapy results in reduced morbidity, hospital stays, risk of recurrent bleeding, and need for surgery. Although administration of proton pump inhibitors does not decrease mortality, risk of rebleeding, or need for surgery, it reduces stigmata of recent hemorrhage and the need for endoscopic therapy. Despite successful endoscopic therapy, rebleeding can occur in 10 to 20 percent of patients; a second attempt at endoscopic therapy is recommended in these patients. Arteriography with embolization or surgery may be needed if there is persistent and severe bleeding.

Reducing Adverse Effects of Proton Pump Inhibitors - Article

ABSTRACT: Proton pump inhibitors effectively treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, erosive esophagitis, duodenal ulcers, and pathologic hypersecretory conditions. Proton pump inhibitors cause few adverse effects with short-term use; however, long-term use has been scrutinized for appropriateness, drug-drug interactions, and the potential for adverse effects (e.g., hip fractures, cardiac events, iron deficiency, Clostridium difficile infection, pneumonia). Adults 65 years and older are more vulnerable to these adverse effects because of the higher prevalence of chronic diseases in this population. Proton pump inhibitors administered for stress ulcer prophylaxis should be discontinued after the patient is discharged from the intensive care unit unless other indications exist.

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Evaluation of Occult Gastrointestinal Bleeding - Article

ABSTRACT: Occult gastrointestinal bleeding is defined as gastrointestinal bleeding that is not visible to the patient or physician, resulting in either a positive fecal occult blood test, or iron deficiency anemia with or without a positive fecal occult blood test. A stepwise evaluation will identify the cause of bleeding in the majority of patients. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) and colonoscopy will find the bleeding source in 48 to 71 percent of patients. In patients with recurrent bleeding, repeat EGD and colonoscopy may find missed lesions in 35 percent of those who had negative initial findings. If a cause is not found after EGD and colonoscopy have been performed, capsule endoscopy has a diagnostic yield of 61 to 74 percent. Deep enteroscopy reaches into the mid and distal small bowel to further investigate and treat lesions found during capsule endoscopy or computed tomographic enterography. Evaluation of a patient who has a positive fecal occult blood test without iron deficiency anemia should begin with colonoscopy; asymptomatic patients whose colonoscopic findings are negative do not require further study unless anemia develops. All men and postmenopausal women with iron deficiency anemia, and premenopausal women who have iron deficiency anemia that cannot be explained by heavy menses, should be evaluated for occult gastrointestinal bleeding. Physicians should not attribute a positive fecal occult blood test to low-dose aspirin or anticoagulant medications without further evaluation.

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