Emergency transcatheter arterial embolization for massive gastrointestinal arterial hemorrhage

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Abstract

To evaluate the different arteriographic manifestations of acute arterial massive hemorrhage of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and the efficacy of emergency transcatheter arterial embolization (ETAE).

A total of 88 patients with acute massive GI bleeding who experienced failure of initial endoscopy and/or conservative treatment were referred to our interventional department for acute GI arteriography from January 2007 to June 2015. After locating the source of bleeding, appropriate embolic agents, such as spring coil, hydroxyl methyl acrylic acid gelatin microspheres, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) particles, etc., were used to embolize the targeted vessels. The angiographic manifestations and the effects of embolization of acute arterial massive hemorrhage of the GI tract were retrospectively analyzed.

Of the 88 patients, 54 were diagnosed with arterial hemorrhage of the upper GI tract and 34 with arterial hemorrhage of the lower GI tract. Eighty cases were associated with positive angiography, which showed the following: contrast extravasation (only); gastroduodenal artery stenosis; pseudoaneurysm (only); pseudoaneurysm rupture with contrast extravasation; pseudoaneurysms merged with intestinal artery stenosis; GI angiodysplasia; and tumor vascular bleeding. Eight cases were diagnosed with negative angiography. Seven-two patients underwent successful hemostasis, and a total of 81 arteries were embolized. The technical and clinical success rates (no rebleeding within 30 days) in performing transcatheter embolization on patients with active bleeding were 100% and 84.71%, respectively (72 of 85). Within 30 days, the postoperative rebleeding rate was 15.29% (13/85). Of these rebleeding cases, 2 patients were formerly treated with “blind embolization,” 7 underwent interventional embolic retreatment, and 3 had surgical operations. All cases were followed-up for 1 month, and 3 patients died from multiple organ failure. No serious complications such as bowel ischemia necrosis were observed.

ETAE is a safe, effective, and minimally invasive treatment; because of the diversified arteriographic manifestations of acute GI hemorrhage, the proper selection of embolic agents and the choice of reasonable embolization method are essential for successful hemostasis.

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