A meta-analysis and systematic review of prophylactic endoscopic treatments for postpolypectomy bleeding

Int J Colorectal Dis. 2011 Jun;26(6):709-19. doi: 10.1007/s00384-011-1141-8. Epub 2011 Feb 11.


Purpose: The aim of this meta-analysis and systematic review was to determine whether bleeding prophylaxis benefits patients after colonoscopic polypectomy.

Methods: A systematic review of the literature was performed to find prospective randomized controlled trials of postpolypectomy hemorrhage prophylaxis. Studies were selected according to specific criteria and analyzed to generate pooled data.

Results: Eight studies encompassing 2,595 polyps met the criteria for the meta-analysis. The rate of early bleeding was significantly decreased relative to the control when a single prophylactic technique was used [2.58% vs. 8.15%, OR = 0.34 (95% CI, 0.20-0.58), P < 0.0001]. The use of multiple prophylactic techniques resulted in a lower early postpolypectomy hemorrhage rate compared with the use of a single prophylactic technique [0% vs. 8.41%, OR = 0.12 (95% CI, 0.03-0.47), P = 0.002]. The late bleeding rate did not differ significantly between the monotherapy and control groups [0.61% vs. 1.39%, OR = 0.37 (95% CI, 0.11-1.28), P = 0.12], and the use of combined preventative techniques did not significantly decrease the late postpolypectomy bleeding (PPB) rate compared with use of a single prophylactic method [1.43% vs. 2.05%, OR = 0.70 (95% CI, 0.32-1.55), P = 0.38].

Conclusion: Prophylactic endoscopic treatments are effective at reducing early PPB after colonoscopic polypectomy. However, patients with late PPB may not benefit from bleeding prophylaxis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Colonic Polyps / surgery*
  • Endoscopy / methods*
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / prevention & control*
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Publication Bias
  • Time Factors