Gastric vascular ectasia (VE) is an uncommon cause of upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Long-term data on the efficacy of argon plasma coagulation (APC) for the treatment of gastric VE are lacking.Methods
We retrospectively identified consecutive patients, between January 2005 and December 2010, treated with APC for an index diagnosis of gastric VE. Clinical and endoscopic features and APC treatment success were recorded. Treatment success was determined by resolution of symptoms and stabilization of the hemoglobin level at 30% above baseline.Results
A total of 62 patients [28 (45.2%) male] with a mean age of 72.6±12.8 years, who had undergone 159 upper endoscopies (mean 2.6, range 1–10), including 140 APC sessions (mean 2.3, range 1–10), were identified. The duration of follow-up was 46.9±26.5 months. Treatment success was achieved in 16 (25.8%) patients. Predictors of success included older age, focal pattern, lack of comorbid liver failure or collagen vascular disease, use of antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs, and lower baseline hemoglobin level. Of the patients, 26 (41.9%) died during follow-up.Conclusion
APC is safe and effective for the initial management of gastric VE; however, most patients do not experience long-term resolution of upper gastrointestinal bleeding and anemia.