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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 3087603, 14 pages
Review Article

Efficacy and Safety of Argon Plasma Coagulation for Hemorrhagic Chronic Radiation Proctopathy: A Systematic Review

1Department of Gastroenterology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
2Hubei Clinical Center and Key Lab of Intestinal and Colorectal Diseases, Wuhan, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Jing Liu

Received 20 July 2017; Revised 13 November 2017; Accepted 8 January 2018; Published 25 February 2018

Academic Editor: Joanne Bowen

Copyright © 2018 Yanan Peng et al. 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.


Hemorrhagic chronic radiation proctopathy (CRP) is a common complication after pelvic radiotherapy in patients with prostate or gynecological cancers. This systematic review was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of argon plasma coagulation (APC) in treating hemorrhagic CRP. The databases of PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library were searched for related studies from inception to July 2017. Finally, 33 studies were identified with a total of 821 hemorrhagic CRP patients. After APC treatment, hemoglobin levels increased from 7.7–13.4 g/L to 11–14 g/L (including 15 studies). All () studies reported an effective rate in rectal bleeding, among which five studies had a rate of 100%. Short-term complications were reported in 31 studies, while long-term complications in 33 studies and no complication in 11 studies. As for the severe complications, perforation was reported by 2 out of 33 studies, and the incidences were 3.3% (1/30) and 3.7% (1/27), respectively. As for APC setting, argon gas flow rate (median 1.5 L/min) and electric power (median 50 W) had no significant influence on complications and hemostasis. In conclusion, current literature indicated that APC therapy was an effective and safe strategy for hemorrhagic CRP, and large-scale prospective studies are needed to warrant our study.