Objectives: To evaluate the outcomes of octreotide use in children with gastrointestinal bleeding with or without portal hypertension.
Methods: The medical charts of children who received continuous octreotide infusion for the indication of gastrointestinal bleeding from January 1995 to December 2000 were retrospectively reviewed.
Results: Twenty-one children with portal hypertension received octreotide infusions (1–2 μg/kg/h) during 35 gastrointestinal bleeding episodes. The duration of infusion ranged from 19 hours to 7 days. Bleeding ceased in 71% of children. Post-treatment rebleeding occurred in 52%, and the mortality was 19%. Response to octreotide, rebleeding, and mortality did not differ significantly between patients with or without intrinsic liver disease.
Twelve children with gastrointestinal bleeding unrelated to portal hypertension received octreotide during 14 episodes. The duration of octreotide ranged from 3 hours to 36 days. Fifty percent of children had resolution of bleeding during the infusion. Post-treatment rebleeding occurred in 29%, and the mortality was 50%. No major adverse events were observed in either group.
Conclusions: A high rate of bleeding control was achieved with octreotide during acute gastrointestinal bleeding in children with portal hypertension. However, controlled studies are needed for more definitive description of its clinical effects. The role of octreotide is less clear in gastrointestinal bleeding unrelated to portal hypertension.