Is submucosal epinephrine injection necessary before polypectomy? A prospective, comparative study

Hepatogastroenterology. 2001 Sep-Oct;48(41):1379-82.


Background/aims: Polyps of the gastrointestinal tract are usually removed due to their link to bleeding, obstruction and malignancy. However, complications may occur following polypectomy. The aim of this study was to assess whether submucosal epinephrine injection before polypectomy could reduce the incidence of bleeding and perforation.

Methodology: Between June 1997 and November 1999, patients with sessile polyps of the gastrointestinal tract found in our endoscopic unit were randomized to receive submucosal epinephrine injection (epinephrine group) or no injection (control group) before polypectomy. In the epinephrine group, epinephrine (1:10,000) was injected surrounding the stalk of the polyp until the mucosa was blanched and bulged. The patients were observed for complications in the following month.

Results: A total of 120 patients with 151 sessile polyps were enrolled in this study. In the epinephrine group, 75 polyps (n = 68) were randomized to receive epinephrine injection before polypectomy. In the control group, 76 polyps (n = 61) underwent polypectomy without epinephrine injection. In both groups, there was no significant difference in clinical features including the sizes of the polyps and their stalks, the location of polyps and the pathological diagnosis. There were a total of nine episodes of post-polypectomy hemorrhage, two in the epinephrine group and seven in the control group (2/75 vs. 7/76) (P = 0.07). One case in the epinephrine group experienced delayed bleeding (4 days later). Immediate hemorrhage occurred less in the epinephrine group than that in the control group (1/75 vs. 7/76, P = 0.03). There was one case of perforation in each group.

Conclusions: Epinephrine injection prior to polypectomy is effective in preventing immediate bleeding.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Colonic Polyps / surgery*
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal*
  • Epinephrine / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyps / surgery*
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage / prevention & control
  • Premedication
  • Prospective Studies
  • Stomach Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Epinephrine