Previous studies of acute lower gastrointestinal bleeding (LGIB) have focused on evaluation and therapy.
Measurement of long-term outcome has been rare.
Dr Thomas Anthony and colleagues from Virginia, America, undertook a study with the purpose of documenting rebleeding and survival rates in patients with acute LGIB.
The research team performed a retrospective review of all patients undergoing technetium-labeled red blood cell scans for LGIB from January of 1997 to December of 2002.
The researchers defined rebleeding as identification of enteric bleeding requiring a transfusion 2 or more weeks after the initial bleeding episode.
|Out of 36 patients, 4 died of surgical complications and 1 patient as a direct result of hemorrhage|
|American Journal of Surgery|
In total, 119 patients met inclusion criteria and were included in the study.
The research group documented rebleeding in 14 of 102 patients surviving for more than 2 weeks.
The actuarial rebleeding rate was 15% at 2 years.
No factors were identified that portended a higher likelihood of rebleeding.
The researchers found that the 30-day mortality was 18% and the median survival was 60 months for the entire cohort.
The team noted that out of the 36 patients in whom cause of death was documented, 4 died of surgical complications and a single patient died as a direct result of hemorrhage.
Dr Anthony concluded, "Rebleeding after an initial episode of LGIB occurs in a small percentage of individuals."
"Although survival is poor for patients with LGIB, few patients die as a direct consequence of hemorrhage."