Article

Endoscopic therapy for bleeding ulcers: an evidence-based approach based on meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials.

Division of Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology: the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (Impact Factor: 6.53). 09/2008; 7(1):33-47; quiz 1-2. DOI: 10.1016/j.cgh.2008.08.016
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to determine appropriate endoscopic treatment of patients with bleeding ulcers by synthesizing results of randomized controlled trials. We performed dual independent bibliographic database searches to identify randomized trials of thermal therapy, injection therapy, or clips for bleeding ulcers with active bleeding, visible vessels, or clots, focusing on results from studies without second-look endoscopy and re-treatment. The primary end point was further (persistent plus recurrent) bleeding. Compared with epinephrine, further bleeding was reduced significantly by other monotherapies (relative risk [RR], 0.58 [95% CI, 0.36-0.93]; number-needed-to-treat [NNT], 9 [95% CI, 5-53]), and epinephrine followed by another modality (RR, 0.34 [95% CI, 0.23-0.50]; NNT, 5 [95% CI, 5-7]); epinephrine was not significantly less effective in studies with second-look and re-treatment. Compared with no endoscopic therapy, further bleeding was reduced by thermal contact (heater probe, bipolar electrocoagulation) (RR, 0.44 [95% CI, 0.36-0.54]; NNT, 4 [95% CI, 3-5]) and sclerosant therapy (RR, 0.56 [95% CI, 0.38-0.83]; NNT, 5 [95% CI, 4-13]). Clips were more effective than epinephrine (RR, 0.22 [95% CI, 0.09-0.55]; NNT, 5 [95% CI, 4-9]), but not different than other therapies, although the latter studies were heterogeneous, showing better and worse results for clips. Endoscopic therapy was effective for active bleeding (RR, 0.29 [95% CI, 0.20-0.43]; NNT, 2 [95% CI, 2-2]) and a nonbleeding visible vessel (RR, 0.49; [95% CI, 0.40-0.59]; NNT, 5 [95% CI, 4-6]), but not for a clot. Bolus followed by continuous-infusion proton pump inhibitor after endoscopic therapy significantly improved outcome compared with placebo/no therapy (RR, 0.40 [95% CI, 0.28-0.59]; NNT, 12 [95% CI, 10-18]), but not compared with histamine(2)-receptor antagonists. Thermal devices, sclerosants, clips, and thrombin/fibrin glue appear to be effective endoscopic hemostatic therapies. Epinephrine should not be used alone. Endoscopic therapy should be performed for ulcers with active bleeding and nonbleeding visible vessels, but efficacy is uncertain for clots. Bolus followed by continuous-infusion intravenous proton pump inhibitor should be used after endoscopic therapy.

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    ABSTRACT: Peptic ulcer remains the most frequent cause of upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Treatment of bleeding with simultaneous combination of two endoscopic techniques has proved to be more efficient than monotherapy. None of the published comparative studies of various contact coagulation modalities have confirmed the superiority of one of these techniques over the others. To compare the therapeutic outcomes of the use of a device enabling both injection of adrenaline solution and bipolar electrocoagulation (A + BE) to those of combined adrenaline injection with mechanical therapy (haemostatic clips) (A + HC) in the treatment of peptic ulcer bleeding. Fifty-two subjects with bleeding ulcers were assigned to the A + BE group, and 55 patients were treated with A + HC. Overall, treatment failed in 20 patients (20/107, 18.7%): in 10 individuals from the A + BE group (10/52; 18.2%) and in 10 individuals from the A + HC group (10/55; 19.2%) (p > 0.05). Primary haemostasis was not obtained in 7 patients (6.5%): in 4 patients in the A + BE group and in 3 patients in the A + HC group (p > 0.05). Ten individuals (9.3%) experienced recurrent bleeding during hospitalisation: 4 patients from the A + BE group and 6 patients from the A + HC group (p > 0.05). Finally, in 96.3% of the patients (n = 103) the endoscopic treatment proved efficient with regards to obtaining haemostasis during hospitalisation. Surgical intervention was required in 4 individuals (3.7%): 2 patients in the A + BE group and 2 patients treated with A + HC (p > 0.05). Three patients (2.8%) - all from the A + HC group - died during hospitalisation. No significant intergroup differences were documented with regards to the mean number of transfused blood units and the mean length of hospital stay. The efficacy of combined endoscopic treatment of ulcer bleeding with a probe enabling simultaneous bipolar electrocoagulation and adrenaline injection seems comparable to the widely used dual technique of adrenaline injection and haemostatic clipping.
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