Transcatheter arterial embolization in the management of bleeding duodenal ulcers: a 5.5-year retrospective study of treatment and outcome.

Research paper by Lene L Larssen, Thomas T Moger, Bjørn Atle BA Bjørnbeth, Idar I Lygren, Nils-Einar NE Kløw

Indexed on: 29 Jan '08Published on: 29 Jan '08Published in: Scandinavian journal of gastroenterology


The mortality rate associated with bleeding duodenal ulcer disease is about 10%. Primary endoscopic hemostasis is successful in over 90% of patients, but in 15-25%, the bleeding cannot be controlled endoscopically or the patient rebleeding, requiring alternative treatment. Percutaneous transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) has been proposed as an alternative to surgery and was introduced at Ullevål University Hospital in Oslo, Norway, in June 2000. In this study we report our experiences in 36 patients.A retrospective review identified all patients admitted to Ullevål University Hospital with hematemesis and/or melena and endoscopically verified duodenal ulcer from June 2000 to 2005. The indication for TAE was endoscopically unmanageable bleeding/rebleeding or rebleeding after surgery. Technical success was defined as acute hemostasis. Clinical success was defined as technical success without rebleeding within 30 days.A total of 278 patients (mean age 73 years) were included in the study. Primary endoscopic hemostasis failed in 13 patients (5%) and 53 patients (20%) experienced rebleeding. An attempt was made to treat 36 patients with TAE. Technical success in the TAE group was 92% and clinical success was 72%. In total, 10 patients underwent surgery, 3 because of rebleeding after TAE. The 30-day mortality was 10% for all patients, 19% in the TAE group, and 20% in the surgical group.High technical and clinical success was obtained with TAE in patients with bleeding duodenal ulcer after failure of endoscopic treatment. TAE appears to be a treatment alternative to surgery in this group of patients.