Characteristics of patients with non-variceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding taking antithrombotic agents

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Background and Aim:The present study aimed to clarify the features and management of non-variceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB) in Japanese patients taking antithrombotic agents.Methods:We retrospectively investigated the medical records of 560 patients who underwent emergency endoscopy for UGIB from 2002 to 2013. The patients were divided into two groups: group A, antithrombotic agent use; and group NA, no antithrombotic agent use. We compared clinical characteristics, comorbidities, and causes of UGIB between the groups. We also investigated management with antithrombotics.Results:Of 560 patients with UGIB, 27.5% were taking antithrombotics, and this proportion gradually increased during the study period. Mean hemoglobin levels on admission were significantly lower in group A (8.0 ± 1.7 g/dL) than in group NA (8.9 ± 2.9 g/dL) (P < 0.001). Patients in group A developed more gastric ulcers and multiple ulcers than did patients in group NA. Incidence of Forrest Ia-type bleeding was lower in group A than in group NA (P < 0.001), and the rate of endoscopic hemostasis was significantly higher in group A (98.7%) than in group NA (94.3%) (P = 0.022). After the release of the 2012 Japan Gastroenterological Endoscopy Society guidelines, the antithrombotic agent cessation periods were significantly shortened (P < 0.001).Conclusions:Among patients with UGIB, those taking antithrombotics exhibited more severe clinical signs. However spurting hemorrhage was rare. Antithrombotics may be resumed early after endoscopic hemostasis.

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