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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 21 (2007), Issue 7, Pages 425-429
Original Article

The Role of Rapid Endoscopy for High-Risk Patients with Acute Nonvariceal Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Laura E Targownik, Sanjay Murthy, Leila Keyvani, and Shauna Leeson

Section of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Received 24 August 2006; Accepted 25 September 2006

Copyright © 2007 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.


BACKGROUND: Performance of endoscopy within 24 h is recommended for patients with acute nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding (ANVUGIB). It is unknown whether performing endoscopy early within this 24 h window is beneficial for clinically high-risk patients.

METHODS: A retrospective review was performed to identify patients presenting to two tertiary care centres with ANVUGIB and either systolic blood pressure lower than 100 mmHg or heart rate greater than 100 beats/min on presentation between 1999 and 2004. Patients receiving endoscopy within 6 h (rapid endoscopy [RE]) were compared with patients undergoing endoscopy between 6 h and 24 h (early endoscopy [EE]). The primary outcome measure was the development of any adverse bleeding outcome (rebleeding, surgery for control of bleeding, in-hospital mortality or readmission within 30 days for ANVUGIB).

RESULTS: There were 169 patients who met the entry criteria (77 RE patients and 92 EE patients). There was no significant difference in the development of any adverse bleeding outcomes between RE and EE patients (25% RE versus 23% EE, difference between groups 2%, 95% CI −9% to 13%). Transfusion requirements and length of hospital stay also did not differ between the comparator groups. RE was not associated with fewer adverse outcomes, even after adjusting for confounders.

CONCLUSION: For clinically high-risk ANVUGIB patients, performing endoscopy within 6 h of presentation is no more effective than performing endoscopy between 6 h and 24 h after presentation. The role of RE in high-risk ANVUGIB patients requires further delineation in a prospective fashion.