Published online Aug 28, 2007. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v13.i32.4333
Revised: May 23, 2007
Accepted: May 31, 2007
Published online: August 28, 2007
AIM: To identify rates of occurrence, common clinical and endoscopic features, and to review the outcome of endoscopic management of Dieulafoy’s lesions in the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract in an urban community hospital setting.
METHODS: Endoscopic data from esophagogastroduodenoscopies (EGDs), done at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY between 2000 and 2006 were reviewed to identify patients with Dieulafoy’s lesions. Demographic data, medical history, examination findings, lab data, endoscopic findings and details of therapy for patients treated for Dieulafoy’s lesions were reviewed retrospectively.
RESULTS: Dieulafoy’s lesions were documented to be the cause of bleeding in approximately 1% of patients presenting with upper gastrointestinal bleeding, while they were detected in only 2 patients when the indications for EGDs were different from active GI bleeding. When we analyzed EGDs performed in patients above age 65 years presenting with gastrointestinal bleeding, prevalence of Dieulafoy’s lesions approached 10 percent. The most common location of the lesion was the body of stomach (7), followed by the cardia (4) and the esophagus (2). One patient had this lesion in the fundus and one patient in the duodenal apex. All patients were initially treated endoscopically with epinephrine injection, in eight cases heater probe was applied following epinephrine and endoscopic clips were applied in two cases. All but one of the patients did well in near and intermediate term follow-up (average follow-up period of 18 mo). One patient died of multi-organ failure during the same hospital stay. Average length hospital stay was 7 d.
CONCLUSION: Community hospital gastroenterologists and endoscopists should be aware that Dieulafoy's lesions are an uncommon cause of upper GI bleeding among elderly patients. Early accurate diagnosis through emergent endoscopy and endoscopic therapy, especially in patients with multiple co-morbid conditions, can be very effective and life saving.