Angiodysplasia is a frequent cause of GI bleeding.
Argon plasma coagulation has been shown to arrest bleeding, but its efficacy for prevention of recurrent bleeding has not been thoroughly evaluated.
Dr Olmos and colleagues from Buenos Aires, Argentina undertook a study in order to assess the effectiveness and the safety of argon plasma coagulation for prevention of recurrent bleeding from GI angiodysplasias.
A total of 60 patients with GI bleeding caused by angiodysplasia were included.
The researchers considered the endoscopic intervention successful if there was no further overt bleeding and if the Hb level stabilized.
|Probability of remaining free of recurrent bleeding at 1- and 2-year follow-up was 86% and 80% respectively|
The research team defined recurrent bleeding as any detectable bleeding episode (hematemesis, melena, or hematochezia) or a decrease in Hb level.
The researchers were able to resolve overt bleeding, and stabilize Hb level without transfusion or supplemental iron therapy in 83% of the patients at a median follow-up of 18 months.
In the subgroup of patients with anemia, the team noted that mean Hb level increased from 8.6 g/dL to 12 g/dL.
The researchers estimated that the probability of remaining free of recurrent bleeding at 1- and 2-year follow-up was 86% and 80% respectively.
Among 72 procedures, only two were associated with a complication (2.8%).
Dr Olmos concluded, "Endoscopic argon plasma coagulation is both effective and safe for prevention of recurrent bleeding from GI angiodysplasia."