Article Abstract

Management for non-variceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding in elderly patients: the experience of a tertiary university hospital

Authors: Koichiro Kawaguchi, Hiroki Kurumi, Yohei Takeda, Kazuo Yashima, Hajime Isomoto


Background: Peptic ulcer bleeding (PUB) is the main cause of non-variceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB). Endoscopic treatment and acid suppression with proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) are most important in the management of PUB and these treatments have reduced mortality. However, elderly patients sometimes have a poor prognostic outcome due to severe comorbidities.
Methods: A retrospective study was performed on 504 cases with acute non-variceal UGIB who were examined in our hospital, in order to reveal the risk factor of a poor outcome in elderly patients.
Results: Two hundred and thirty-four cases needed hemostasis; 11 cases had unsuccessful endoscopic treatments; 31 cases had re-bleeding after endoscopic hemostasis. Forty-three cases died within 30 days after the initial urgent endoscopy, but only seven cases died from bleeding. Elderly patients aged over 65 years had more severe comorbidities, and were prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antiplatelet agents and/or anticoagulation agents, more frequently, compared with non-elderly patients. The significant risk factor of needing hemostatic therapy was the taking of two or more NSAIDs, antiplatelet agents and/or anticoagulation agents. The most important risk of a poor outcome in elderly patients was various kinds of severe comorbidities. And so, it is important to predict such an outcome in these cases. AIMS65 is a simple and relatively useful scoring system that predicts the risk of a poor outcome in UGIB. High-score patients via AIMS65 were associated with a high mortality rate because of death from comorbidities.
Conclusions: The elderly patients in whom were prescribed two or more NSAIDs, antiplatelet agents and/or anticoagulation agents, should have UGIB prevented using a PPI. The most significant risk of a poor outcome in elderly patients was severe comorbidities. We recommend that elderly patients with UGIB should be estimated as having a poor outcome as soon as possible via the risk scoring system AIMS65.