Clinical review: gastrointestinal bleeding after percutaneous coronary intervention: a deadly combination

P. Foley; S. Foley; T. Kinnaird; R.A. Anderson
June 2008
QJM: An International Journal of Medicine;Jun2008, Vol. 101 Issue 6, p425
Academic Journal
Background: Managing gastrointestinal bleeding in a patient who has undergone recent percutaneous coronary intervention requires balancing the risk of stent thrombosis against further catastrophic bleeding. Stent thrombosis and severe gastrointestinal bleeding are life-threatening complications. Aims: To evaluate the risks of gastrointestinal bleeding in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention in relation to anti-platelet therapy and to discuss management of gastrointestinal bleeding in these patients. Design: Review of published studies comparing anti-platelet and ulcer healing therapy. A review of the evidence surrounding the management of gastrointestinal bleeding and the need for anti-platelet therapy in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention. Findings: Gastrointestinal bleeding is relatively common after percutaneous coronary intervention. In one study it complicated 2.3% of primary angioplasty, and these patients had a mortality of 10%. Recent registry data of patients experiencing a gastrointestinal bleed reported a mortality of 5.4%. Cessation of anti-platelet therapy carries a high risk of acute stent thrombosis, which has a high mortality. Conclusions: Individualized specialist gastrointestinal and cardiological management of these patients in a high dependency environment is recommended. Supportive care and proton pump inhibition in combination with judicious use of anti-platelet therapy is likely to provide the best balance of risk.


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