Clinical Aspects of Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding Associated With the Use of Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs

László, András; Kelly, Judith P.; Kaufman, David E.; Sheehan, Jane E.; Rétsági, György; Wiholm, Bengt-Erik; Koff, Raymond S.; Sundström, Anders; Shapiro, Samuel
May 1998
American Journal of Gastroenterology;May1998, Vol. 93 Issue 5, p721
Academic Journal
Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the clinical features of major upper gastrointestinal bleeding among patients exposed to nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAID) and those not taking these drugs. Methods: Using data from a multicenter international case-control study designed to evaluate the role of drugs in the etiology of major upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB), patients with a confirmed first episode of major UGIB were divided into two groups: those exposed to NSAIDs during the week before the onset of bleeding, and those not exposed. The groups were compared according to age and sex, clinical appearance and site of the bleeding, preceding symptoms, and requirement for transfusion and acute surgery. Results: The median age was significantly higher and the proportion of women was slightly higher among the NSAID users. There was no significant difference between users and nonusers according to the clinical presentation, the site of the bleeding, or the frequency of preceding symptoms. Forty percent in each group had no symptoms before the onset of bleeding. Slightly more NSAID users received blood transfusions, although the same median amount of blood per transfusion was given in both groups. There was no difference in the frequency of surgical intervention. Conclusions: There are no important differences in the clinical presentation of major UGIB according to whether or not an individual is an NSAID user. An important finding is the frequent absence of preceding symptoms in patients with major UGIB, regardless of NSAID use.


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