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Endoscopy. 2002 May;34(5):355-9.

Long-term outcome of patients with gastrointestinal bleeding of obscure origin explored by push enteroscopy.

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Department of Hepatogastroenterology, Georges Pompidou European Hospital, Paris, France.



Little is known of the long-term outcome in patients with gastrointestinal bleeding of obscure origin, who undergo investigation by means of push enteroscopy. The aim of this study was to assess the rate of recurrent bleeding and its predictive factors in patients with gastrointestinal bleeding of obscure origin, after exploration by push enteroscopy.


105 patients with gastrointestinal bleeding of obscure origin (iron-deficiency anemia: n = 56; overt bleeding: n = 49) underwent exploration by push enteroscopy from December 1994 to December 1998. They were classified into three groups according to enteroscopy findings: no lesion found (group A; 56 patients), arteriovenous malformations (group B; 18 patients), and other gastrointestinal lesions (group C; 31 patients). Actuarial rates of rebleeding during follow-up were calculated and factors associated with rebleeding were assessed by means of univariate and multivariate analysis.


Follow-up data were obtained for 101 patients (96 %). The mean follow-up was 29 months (6 - 54 months). The 2-year actuarial rate of rebleeding was 31 % in the overall population, and 27.6 %, 56 % and 24 % in groups A, B, and C, respectively (P = 0.13). The number of previous bleeding episodes and the number of packed red cell units transfused were two independent factors predictive of recurrent bleeding. The modality of recurrent bleeding (anemia or overt bleeding) was similar to that of the initial episode in 94 % of cases. In group A, a gastrointestinal lesion was found after rebleeding in one of the 12 patients with iron-deficiency anemia, and in four of the five patients with overt bleeding.


Recurrent bleeding occurs in about one-third of patients who undergo investigation by push enteroscopy for gastrointestinal bleeding of obscure origin, with a trend towards more frequent rebleeding in patients with arteriovenous malformations. Frequent previous bleeding episodes and transfusion requirements are predictive of recurrent bleeding.

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