Randomized controlled trial comparing epinephrine injection plus heat probe coagulation versus epinephrine injection plus argon plasma coagulation for bleeding peptic ulcers

Gastrointest Endosc. 2003 Apr;57(4):455-61. doi: 10.1016/s0016-5107(03)80008-1.

Abstract

Background: Epinephrine injection with heat probe coagulation is an effective treatment for bleeding peptic ulcer. Few studies have investigated the efficacy of dual therapy with epinephrine injection plus either heat probe or argon plasma coagulation for high-risk bleeding peptic ulcers. This study compared epinephrine injection plus heat probe coagulation to epinephrine injection plus argon plasma coagulation for the treatment of high-risk bleeding peptic ulcers.

Methods: The study design was prospective, randomized, and controlled. Patients with actively bleeding peptic ulcers, ulcers with adherent clots, or ulcers with nonbleeding visible vessels were randomly assigned to epinephrine injection plus heat probe coagulation or epinephrine injection plus argon plasma coagulation. Patients with previous gastric surgery, malignant ulcers, and unidentifiable ulcers because of torrential bleeding were excluded. The primary outcome measure was recurrence of bleeding. Secondary outcome measures were initial hemostasis, endoscopic procedure duration, number of patients requiring surgery, mortality within 30 days, and ulcer status at 8 week follow-up endoscopy.

Results: One hundred ninety-two patients were enrolled; 7 with malignant ulcers were excluded after randomization. One hundred eighty-five cases were analyzed, 97 in the heat probe group and 88 in the argon plasma coagulation group. Patient demographics and ulcer characteristics were comparable between the groups. There was no significant difference in terms of initial hemostasis (95.9% vs. 97.7%), frequency of recurrent bleeding (21.6% vs. 17.0%), requirement for emergency surgery (9.3% vs. 4.5%), mean number of units of blood transfused (2.4 vs. 1.7 units), mean hospital stay (8.2 vs. 7.0 days), and hospital mortality (6.2% vs. 5.7%). Sixty (61.8%) patients in the heat probe group and 52 (52.9%) in the argon plasma coagulation group underwent endoscopy at 8 weeks. There was no significant difference between these groups in the relative frequency of nonhealing ulcer at 8 weeks.

Conclusion: Epinephrine injection plus argon plasma coagulation is as safe and effective as epinephrine injection plus heat probe coagulation in the treatment of patients with high-risk bleeding peptic ulcers.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electrocoagulation / methods*
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal
  • Epinephrine / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Hemostatic Techniques*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptic Ulcer Hemorrhage / therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents / administration & dosage*

Substances

  • Vasoconstrictor Agents
  • Epinephrine