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World J Gastroenterol. 2010 Aug 21;16(31):3957-63.

Usefulness of CT angiography in diagnosing acute gastrointestinal bleeding: a meta-analysis.

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Department of Radiology, Ren Ji Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, No. 1630 Dongfang Road, Pudong, Shanghai, China.



To analyze the accuracy of computed tomography (CT) angiography in the diagnosis of acute gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding.


The MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cancerlit, Cochrane Library database, Sciencedirect, Springerlink and Scopus, from January 1995 to December 2009, were searched for studies evaluating the accuracy of CT angiography in diagnosing acute GI bleeding. Studies were included if they compared CT angiography to a reference standard of upper GI endoscopy, colonoscopy, angiography or surgery in the diagnosis of acute GI bleeding. Meta-analysis methods were used to pool sensitivity and specificity and to construct summary receiver-operating characteristic.


A total of 9 studies with 198 patients were included in this meta-analysis. Data were used to form 2 x 2 tables. CT angiography showed pooled sensitivity of 89% (95% CI: 82%-94%) and specificity of 85% (95% CI: 74%-92%), without showing significant heterogeneity (chi(2) = 12.5, P = 0.13) and (chi(2) = 22.95, P = 0.003), respectively. Summary receiver operating characteristic analysis showed an area under the curve of 0.9297.


CT angiography is an accurate, cost-effective tool in the diagnosis of acute GI bleeding and can show the precise location of bleeding, thereby directing further management.

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