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Outcomes of Patients With Acute Upper Gastrointestinal Nonvariceal Hemorrhage Referred to Interventional Radiology for Potential Embolotherapy

Sildiroglu, Onur MD*,†; Muasher, Jamil MD*; Arslan, Bulent MD; Sabri, Saher S. MD*; Saad, Wael E. MD*; Angle, John F. MD*; Matsumoto, Alan H. MD*; Turba, Ulku C. MD*,‡

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: September 2014 - Volume 48 - Issue 8 - p 687–692
doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000000181
ALIMENTARY TRACT: Original Articles

Purpose: To report the outcomes following catheter angiography with or without embolization in patients with acute upper gastrointestinal nonvariceal hemorrhage (UGINH).

Materials and Methods: A review of electronic medical records was performed to identify all potential patients for this study between 2001 and 2011. Patients with first-time UGINH who required angiographic localization and endovascular treatment were included. Patients with variceal bleeding and prior surgical or endovascular intervention for the gastrointestinal system were excluded. Society of Interventional Radiology guidelines and American College of Radiology “appropriateness criteria” reporting standards were followed.

Results: We identified 74 patients (men/women=46/28) with a mean age of 60 years. Thirty-four patients were found to have active bleeding on angiography. One patient from this group did not undergo embolization because of an angiographic diagnosis of aortoenteric fistula. Technical failure was encountered in 2/34 patients; therefore, the technical success of embolization was 94%. Forty of 74 patients showed no angiographic evidence of active bleeding; 18 patients underwent prophylactic embolization using endoscopically placed clips as targets; and 22 patients had no embolotherapy. Thus, we grouped the patients into 3 groups: (1) therapeutic embolization; (2) prophylactic/empiric embolization; and (3) no embolotherapy groups. The clinical success of embolization was 67% to 68% in the therapeutic embolization group and 67% in the prophylactic embolization group. Early rebleeding rates were 33.8%, 51.6%, 33.3%, and 12% among all the patients, the therapeutic embolization group, the prophylactic embolization group, and the no endovascular treatment group, respectively. Mortality was significantly high in patients with advanced age (P=0.001), cerebrovascular disorders (P=0.037), and positive angiography (P=0.026), even when clinical success was achieved.

Conclusions: Acute UGINH remains a clinical challenge with increased mortality rates, even with high technical success rates. Patients with negative findings on angiography have lower early rebleeding rates than patients with active bleeding during angiography or endoscopy-guided prophylactic/empiric embolization.

*Department of Radiology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Radiology, Gulhane Medical School, Istanbul, Turkey

Department of Interventional Radiology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL

Presented at the GEST (Global Embolization Symposium and Technologies) 2012 meeting as an oral presentation.

The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose, however unrelated disclosures A.H.M.: Board member Boston Scientific, Grants, Gore, Cook, Medtronic, Stocks; Crux Medical, Travel; Siemens Med. Trivascular Bolton. W.E.S.: Consultant Boston Scientific, Siemens, Merit medical, Grants: Siemens, lecture: Atrium Medical.

Reprints: Ulku C. Turba, MD, Department of Interventional Radiology, Rush University Medical Center, Professional Building, 1725W. Harrison Street, Suite 450, Chicago, IL 60612 (e-mails:;

Received February 18, 2014

Accepted June 2, 2014

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins