Outcome of endoscopic therapy for cancer bleeding in patients with unresectable gastric cancer

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Background and Aim

Gastric cancer bleeding is not rare complication in patients with advanced gastric cancer (AGC). The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and clinical outcomes of endoscopic therapy (ET) for upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB) from unresectable AGC.


Data from 113 patients with UGIB from unresectable AGC who underwent ET at the National Cancer Center, Korea were analyzed retrospectively. Success rates of endoscopic hemostasis, rebleeding rates, mortality at 30 days, and overall survival (OS) rate after initial hemostasis were investigated.


The initial hemostasis rate was 92.9% (105/113). Electrocoagulation was the most common method used (92.0%, 104/113), and combination ET was required in 34 patients (30.1%). Rebleeding occurred in 43 patients (41.0%); 3-day and 30-day rebleeding rates were 18.1% and 29.5%, respectively. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that transfusion of packed red blood cells (> 5 units) was associated with early rebleeding (≤ 3 days after initial hemostasis) (odd ratio, 4.75; 95% confidential interval, 1.45–15.57; P = 0.010). ET was attempted in 18 patients with rebleeding; hemostasis was achieved in 88.9%. The 30-day mortality rate after initial bleeding event was 15.9%. Median OS after initial hemostasis was 3.2 months. OS was lower for patients with early rebleeding than for those with late rebleeding (> 3 days after initial hemostasis) or without rebleeding (1.0, 3.1, and 4.3 months, respectively; P = 0.004).


ET, primarily endoscopic electrocoagulation, achieved a high initial hemostasis rate for UGIB in patients with unresectable AGC. However, rebleeding frequently occurred, and early rebleeding was associated with poor survival.

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