Send to

Choose Destination
Dig Dis Sci. 1996 Mar;41(3):598-603.

Incidence and outcome of overt gastrointestinal bleeding in patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation.

Author information

Department of Medicine, Ireland Cancer Center University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio 44106, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence, clinical patterns, and outcomes of gastrointestinal bleeding in consecutive patients treated at one bone marrow transplant center. We reviewed the clinical course of 579 consecutive bone marrow transplant recipients who underwent therapy from January 1986 through December 1993. These patients were evaluated for overt gastrointestinal bleeding, defined as hematemesis, melena, hematochezia, or a combination. Overt gastrointestinal bleeding was defined in 43 of 579 patients (7.4%), including 25 men and 18 women undergoing transplantation for hematologic disorders (N = 29) and solid tumors (N = 14). After high-dose cytotoxic chemotherapy, patients were given allogeneic (N = 10) or autologous (N = 33) hematopoietic progenitor cell support obtained from bone marrow, peripheral blood, or both. H2 blockers, sucralfate, or a combination were administered to all patients as prophylactic therapy. Bleeding manifestations included hematemesis(N = 24, melena (N = 8), hematochezia (N = 7), and combinations (N = 4). The median time from bone marrow infusion to the onset of overt gastrointestinal bleeding was 7.5 days (range: 0-45 days). Fourteen patients had evidence of orthostatic hypotension attributable to gastrointestinal bleeding. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy was performed in 26 patients; 18 had diffuse esophagitis and gastritis. Two patients with bleeding ulcers underwent successful electrocautery. Colonoscopy was performed in five patients and revealed a cecal ulcer in one subject, tumor recurrence in one patient, and colitis in another. No patients underwent surgical intervention. Only ine patient died as a result of gastrointestinal bleeding. Overt gastrointestinal bleeding is uncommon in patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation; most episodes are self-limited and do not contribute to overall mortality. Endoscopy is primarily diagnostic as most patients do not have lesions amenable to therapeutic procedures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center