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n South African Medical Journal - The efficacy of endoscopic therapy in bleeding peptic ulcer patients : research
Background. Endotherapy is the primary modality for the control of bleeding from peptic ulceration.
Objective. To assess the efficacy of endoscopic intervention for high-risk bleeding peptic ulcer disease and to benchmark our surgical and mortality rates.
Methods. Two hundred and twenty-seven patients with peptic ulcers stratified by Rockall and Forrest scores as being at high risk for rebleeding underwent therapeutic intervention (adrenalin injection) between January 2004 and December 2009. The median age of the patients was 57 years (range 19 - 87 years); 60% were males.
Results. Primary endoscopic haemostasis failed in 51/227 patients (22.5%); 18 patients (7.9%) required surgery for bleeding not controlled at initial or second endoscopy; and 29 patients (12.8%) died, 12 by day 3 and 17 by day 30. Fifteen patients, all with significant medical co-morbidity, died after successful primary endotherapy, and 4 died after surgery. Surgical patients required more blood (odds ratio (OR) 1.45, p=0.0001) than those not undergoing surgery, but had similar mortality. Rebleeding was the only predictor of death in patients who died by day 3 (OR 18.77). A high Rockall score was the only predictor of death by day 30 (OR 1.98).
Conclusion. The overall surgical and mortality rates were 7.9% and 12.8%, respectively. Over half the deaths resulted from medical co-morbidity, despite successful primary endotherapy. This finding is supported by the use of the Rockall score as a predictor of mortality at day 30. Improving the technical success of primary endoscopic haemostasis, currently 77.5%, has the potential to reduce rebleeding after primary endotherapy, a predictor of death at day 3 in this study.
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