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Causes of Bleeding and Outcomes in Patients Hospitalized With Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Kim, John J. MD, MS*; Sheibani, Sarah MD; Park, Sunhee MD; Buxbaum, James MD; Laine, Loren MD‡,§

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: February 2014 - Volume 48 - Issue 2 - p 113–118
doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e318297fb40
ALIMENTARY TRACT: Original Articles

Goals: To evaluate sources of upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB) at an urban US hospital and compare them to sources at the same center 20 years ago, and to assess clinical outcomes related to source of UGIB.

Background: Recent studies suggest changes in causes and outcomes of UGIB.

Study: Consecutive patients with hematemesis, melena, and/or hematochezia undergoing upper endoscopy with an identified source at LA County+USC Medical Center from January 2005 to June 2011 were identified retrospectively.

Results: Mean age of the 1929 patients was 52 years; 75% were male. A total of 1073 (55%) presented with hematemesis, 809 (42%) with melena alone, and 47 (2%) with hematochezia alone. The most common causes were ulcers in 654 patients (34%), varices in 633 (33%), and erosive esophagitis in 156 (8%), compared with 43%, 33%, and 2% in 1991. During hospitalization, 207 (10.7%) patients required repeat endoscopy for UGIB (10.6% for both ulcers and varices) and 129 (6.7%) died (5.2% for ulcers; 9.2% for varices). On multivariate analysis, hematemesis (OR=1.38; 95% CI, 1.04-1.88) and having insurance (OR=1.44; 95% CI, 1.07-1.94) were associated with repeat endoscopy for UGIB. Varices (OR=1.53; 95% CI, 1.05-2.22) and having insurance (OR=4.53; 95% CI, 2.84-7.24) were associated with mortality.

Conclusion: Peptic ulcers decreased modestly over 2 decades, whereas varices continue as a common cause of UGIB at an urban hospital serving lower socioeconomic patients. Inpatient mortality, but not rebleeding requiring endoscopy, was higher with variceal than nonvariceal UGIB, indicating patients with variceal UGIB remain at risk of death from decompensation of underlying illness even after successful control of bleeding.

*Division of Gastroenterology, Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda

Division of Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Section of Digestives Diseases, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven

§VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT

The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose.

Reprints: Loren Laine, MD, Section of Digestive Diseases, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar St/1080 LMP, New Haven, CT 06520-8019 (e-mail:

Received December 17, 2012

Accepted April 18, 2013

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins