Background & aims: Treatment of high-risk patients with nonbleeding adherent clots on ulcers is controversial. In a previous randomized trial, there was no benefit to endoscopic therapies compared with medical therapy for prevention of ulcer rebleeding. Our purpose was to test the hypothesis that patients treated with combination endoscopic therapy would have significantly lower rebleeding rates than those treated with medical therapy.
Methods: In this randomized, controlled trial, 32 high-risk patients with severe ulcer hemorrhage and nonbleeding adherent clots resistant to target irrigation were randomized to medical therapy or to combination endoscopic therapy (with epinephrine injection, shaving down the clot with cold guillotining, and bipolar coagulation on the underlying stigmata). Physicians blinded to the endoscopic therapy managed all patients.
Results: Patients were similar at study entry, except for older age in the medical group and lower platelet count in the endoscopic group. By hospital discharge, significantly more medically treated patients (6/17; 35.3%) than endoscopically treated patients (0/15; 0%) rebled (P = 0.011). There were no complications of endoscopic treatment.
Conclusions: Combination endoscopic therapy of nonbleeding adherent clots significantly reduced early ulcer rebleeding rates in high-risk patients compared with medical therapy alone. This endoscopic treatment was safe.