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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 4, Issue 9, Pages 647-649
Nonvariceal Hemorrhage

Approach to Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding - When to Treat?

P Rutgeerts

Department of Medicine, Unversity Hospital Gasthuisberg, Belgium

Copyright © 1990 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Upper gastrointestinal bleeding from peptic ulcer is a life threatening emergency. Clinical risk factors for fatal outcome have been defined, and endoscopic predictors for rebleeding have been identified. Active ulcer bleeding at endoscopy carries an 80% chance of persistent or recurrent bleeding. A non bleeding visible vessel is associated with a 50% chance of rebleeding. These endoscopic lesions should be treated endoscopically. Failure to obtain definitive hemostasis endoscopically will necessitate emergency surgical treatment.