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Cases J. 2010 Feb 12;3:58. doi: 10.1186/1757-1626-3-58.

Upper gastrointestinal bleeding due to gastric stromal tumour: a case report.

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Department of General Surgery, Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough, Greater London, BR6 8ND, UK.



Gastro-intestinal stromal tumours are the most common mesenchymal tumours of the gastro-intestinal tract. This case report highlights the necessity of early surgical intervention in such cases to avoid mortality due to rebleeding and to raise the awareness of rare causes of upper gastrointestinal bleed and their management.


A 61-year-old male presented to the accident and emergency department with a one-day history of haemetemesis with coffee ground vomiting. After initial resuscitation, he underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy under sedation which demonstrated a large, bleeding, gastric mass with a central crater along the greater curvature of the stomach. A partial gastrectomy was performed taking a wedge of the stomach with clearance from the tumour, with no signs of extraperitoneal disease.


Early surgical intervention, either open or laparoscopic resection, is the treatment of choice to prevent rebleeds. In general, complete surgical resection is accomplished in 40-60% of all gastro-intestinal stromal tumours patients, and in >70% of those with primary non- metastatic gastro-intestinal stromal tumour. In our case we had completely excised the tumour. Following surgery, all patients must be referred to centres which have more experience in treating gastro-intestinal stromal tumours. Imatinib is proven to be the first effective systemic therapy in cases of unresectable or metastatic disease. All gastro-intestinal stromal tumours have the potential for aggressive behaviour with the risk being estimated from tumour size and mitotic count.

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