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Am Surg. 2005 Jul;71(7):539-44; discussion 544-5.

Superselective catheterization and embolization as first-line therapy for lower gastrointestinal bleeding.

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Department of Surgery, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7228, USA.


Emergent operative intervention for lower gastrointestinal bleeding (LGIB) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Advances in endovascular techniques have made superselective catheterization and embolization (SSCE) of small visceral arterial branches possible. We hypothesized that SSCE for LGIB would be an effective first-line therapy and associated with low mortality. We identified all patients that underwent visceral angiography at our institution from 1997 to 2003. Records from all patients with documented LGIB and in whom SSCE was used as first-line therapy were reviewed. Twenty-three patients (69 +/- 11 years) were treated with SSCE as an initial intervention for LGIB. A definitive bleeding site was identified in 95 per cent of cases (22/23). Eleven patients (48%) developed an early complication [recurrent bleeding (n=5; two required surgery), asymptomatic ischemic colonic mucosa (n=3), acute renal insufficiency (n=1; resolved), and femoral pseudo-aneurysm (n=2; one treated operatively)]. Long-term (mean 19 months) follow-up was available for 17 patients. Five patients (22%) experienced recurrent LGIB, and three patients had evidence of colonic ischemic. One patient required endoscopic dilation of a stricture, and three underwent surgical resection. There was no mortality in our series. In this series, SSCE was an effective first-line therapy for LGIB. Rebleeding and ischemia rates were low.

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