Our purpose was to delineate the characteristics and outcome of massive upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGI) caused by acid-corrosive injury and to determine its management protocol. From June 1988 to June 2000, all patients with the history of acid-corrosive injury at our institution were reviewed. Patients with massive UGI bleeding (hematocrit level < 25% or transfusion of three or more units of whole blood required to restore normal vital sign) were enrolled into this study. Altogether, 12 (3.2%) of 378 patients with acid-corrosive injury developed massive bleeding: 8 gastric bleeding, 2 duodenal bleeding, and 2 first gastric and then duodenal bleeding. Gastric bleedings started an average of 12.1 days after the initial injury (range 9-21 days). Duodenal bleeding usually occurred later, at 10.1 days (range 6-18 days) after a gastric or esophagogastric operation. Nine of the ten patients with gastric bleeding underwent surgery during the subacute stage: three esophagogastrectomy, three gastric mucosectomy with gastrostomy and jejunostomy, and three total or subtotal gastrectomy. Operative findings were hemorrhagic gastritis with diffuse mucosal bleeding. Two of four patients with duodenal bleeding underwent duodenotomy with suture-ligation of bleeding vessels, and the other two had conservative treatment. Nine patients (75%) had postoperative complications. One patient (8%) died from complications of surgery performed to stop duodenal bleeding. Massive UGI bleeding rarely occurs after acid-corrosive injury; but when it does, it occurs during the subacute stage. Aggressive surgical treatment is mandatory for gastric bleeding. How duodenal bleeding can be better managed requires further study.
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