Dieulafoy’s Lesion-Like Bleeding: An Underrecognized Cause of Upper Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage in Patients with Advanced Liver Disease

Jamil Akhras; Pragnesh Patel
March 2007
Digestive Diseases & Sciences;Mar2007, Vol. 52 Issue 3, p722
Academic Journal
Abstract??Dieulafoy?s lesion is a gastrointestinal submucosal artery that ruptures into the lumen causing massive hemorrhage. Until recently, failure to diagnose and treat patients endoscopically may have necessitated blind gastrectomy. Because arteriolar spider nevi abound in patients with liver disease and bleeding from such lesions has been described in the upper gastrointestinal tract, we reviewed our experience to determine whether a diagnosis of advanced liver disease could facilitate recognition and treatment of this type of arterial bleeding. Endoscopy records from 1991 to 1996 for all cases of upper gastrointestinal bleeding at our institution were reviewed. Dieulafoy?s lesion-like bleeding was defined as arterial-type bleeding with no evidence of mucosal ulceration or erosions. Advanced liver disease was defined as signs of portal hypertension and/or cirrhosis or infiltrative liver disease. Dieulafoy?s lesion-like bleeding was the cause in 6 of 4569 cases (0.13%). Five patients with Dieulafoy?s lesion-like gastrointestinal hemorrhage had advanced liver disease compared with 954 of 4569 of all patients endoscoped for gastrointestinal hemorrhage for the period evaluated (OR = 19.04; 95% CI 2.1?900.8;p< 0.002 by Fisher?s exact test). Dieulafoy?s lesion-like bleeding was treated successfully with epinephrine injection and endoscopic cauterization in 5 of 6 patients with 1 patient requiring surgery. No other clinical associations were evident. Dieulafoy?s lesion-like bleeding occurs more commonly in patients with advanced liver disease and should be included as a potential cause for bleeding in advanced liver disease and aggressively sought.


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