Management of posterior epistaxis by endoscopic clipping of the sphenopalatine artery

Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci. 2000 Oct;25(5):374-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2273.2000.00372.x.


Posterior epistaxis poses a challenge to the otolaryngologist as the bleeding point itself cannot easily be identified. Haemostasis by conventional means is usually nasal packing and this results in repeated/persistent haemorrhage, morbidity and prolonged bed occupancy. In recent years the increased availability of rigid endoscopes and a better understanding of the anatomy of the nasal cavity have facilitated a direct approach to the sphenopalatine artery. Using a 0 degrees or 30 degrees rigid nasendoscope the sphenopalatine artery-the main blood supply to the nose-can be clearly identified and treated. Over the last 12 months we have employed endoscopic intranasal clipping of the said artery under a general anaesthetic to control persistent posterior nasal bleeding. Twelve patients have undergone 14 procedures within 48 h of failure of their conservative management. In all the epistaxis was controlled no complications were noted. The average follow-up period in our series was nine months. We believe that intranasal endoscopic clipping of the sphenopalatine artery is effective and less traumatic than either any other site of arterial ligation technique or repeated packing. In this series we employed only clipping of the artery and not diathermy/electrocautery to reduce the theoretical risk to adjacent structures

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arteries
  • Endoscopy*
  • Epistaxis / surgery*
  • Female
  • Hemostatic Techniques*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Mucosa / blood supply*
  • Surgical Instruments