Upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB) is a frequent cause for emergency endoscopy and, in a proportion, requires the application of endotherapy. We aim to evaluate the proportion of variceal and nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding (NVUGIB), the endoscopic findings that were detected, as well as the temporal trends of endoscopic findings over a period of 13 years.
This is a retrospective study of patients who underwent an esophagogastroduodenoscopy with an indication of UGIB or presented with hematemesis, melena, or both, as well as those who had hematochezia, from January 2004 to December 2016 (13 years).
A total of 2075 patients were included with a mean age of 56.8 years (range 18-113) and males constituted 67.9%, while 65.9% had at least one comorbidity. Symptoms on presentation included hematemesis (52.5%), melena (31.2%), both hematemesis & melena (15.1%), and hematochezia (1.2%). The majority of UGIB were from a NVUGIB source (80.5%) and a variceal source was found in 13.1%, while no endoscopic findings were found in 6.4% of cases. The most common endoscopic diagnosis was gastroduodenal erosions (23.8%), duodenal ulcers (23.5%), reflux esophagitis (16.0%), esophageal varices (12.1%), and gastric ulcers (10.8%). There was no change in the endoscopic findings over the time period of the study. A third of duodenal ulcers (33.3%) as well as 21.9% of gastric ulcers were actively bleeding at the time of endoscopy, while 3.3% of duodenal ulcers had an adherent clot.
NVUGIB composed the majority of cases presenting with UGIB and variceal bleeding was lower than that described in prior studies, but there were no clear trends in the proportion of causes of UGIB during the study duration.