Acute Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding: Less Severe Bleeding in More Frail and Older Patients, Comparison Between Two Time Periods Fifteen Years Apart

Christos Sotiropoulos, Konstantinos Papantoniou, Efthimios Tsounis, Georgia Diamantopoulou, Christos Konstantakis, Georgios Theocharis, Christos Triantos, Konstantinos Thomopoulos


Background: Acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding (AUGIB) remains a common medical emergency with considerable morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to describe the patient characteristics, diagnoses and clinical outcomes of patients presenting with AUGIB nowadays and compare these with those of patients 15 years ago.

Methods: This was a single-center survey of adults (> 16 years) presenting with AUGIB to a tertiary hospital. Data from 401 patients presenting with AUGIB in a tertiary hospital between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2020 were analyzed and compared with data from 434 patients presenting with AUGIB at the same hospital between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2005.

Results: Nowadays, patients were older, mean age was 69.5 ( 15.4) vs. 66.2 ( 16.0) years, they had more frequently coexisting diseases (83.5% vs. 72.8%), especially cardiovascular diseases (62.3% vs. 52.5%), and more individuals were inpatients at onset of bleeding (8.2% vs. 4.1%). In addition, more patients were under anticoagulants (18.5% vs. 6.2%), but less were under acetylsalicylic acid clopidogrel (36.9% vs. 33.9%). Carlson Comorbidity Index was higher nowadays (5.6 6.4 vs. 3.4 2.3). Moreover, a peptic ulcer was less frequently found as the cause of bleeding (38.4% vs. 56.9%), while more often nowadays endoscopy was negative (12.7% vs. 3.5%). In patients with peptic ulcer, active bleeding on endoscopy was less frequent (7.1% vs. 14.2%). Also, bleeding spots requiring hemostasis were less common on endoscopy (39.6% vs. 49.4%) and more patients were without spots of recent bleeding (49.4% vs. 38.9%). Finally, the rate of rebleeding statistically decreased (7.8% vs. 4.2%), while overall mortality remained relatively unchanged (5.0% vs. 6.2%).

Conclusions: AUGIB episodes nowadays are less severe with less peptic ulcer bleeding, but the patients are older and with more comorbidities.

Gastroenterol Res. 2022;15(3):127-135


Upper gastrointestinal bleeding; Gastrointestinal hemorrhage; Peptic ulcers; Helicobacter pylori; Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; Antithrombotics

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