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Am J Emerg Med. 2006 May;24(3):280-5.

ED predictors of upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding in patients without hematemesis.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.



In patients with gastrointestinal (GI) tract bleeding, the bleeding source is uncertain in the absence of hematemesis. We sought to identify clinical variables predictive of an upper GI bleeding source.


This retrospective cohort study involved patients admitted via the ED for GI tract bleeding without hematemesis, who underwent confirmatory testing. We used logistic regression analysis to identify clinical variables independently associated with an upper GI source.


Among 325 patients, odds ratios for the strongest predictors were as follows: black stool, 16.6 (95% confidence interval [CI], 7.7-35.7); age less than 50 years, 8.4 (95% CI, 3.2-22.1); and blood urea nitrogen/creatinine ratio 30 or greater, 10.0 (95% CI, 4.0-25.6). Seven (5%) of 151 with none of these factors had an upper GI tract bleed, versus 63 (93%) of 68 with 2 or 3 factors.


Black stool, age less than 50 years, and blood urea nitrogen/creatinine ratio of 30 or greater independently predict an upper GI tract bleeding source.

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