Is routine second-look endoscopy effective after endoscopic hemostasis in acute peptic ulcer bleeding? A meta-analysis

Gastrointest Endosc. 2012 Aug;76(2):283-92. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2012.04.441. Epub 2012 Jun 12.


Background: Routine second-look endoscopy in modern-era peptic ulcer bleeding (PUB) remains controversial.

Objective: To assess the effectiveness of routine second-look endoscopy in patients with PUB exhibiting high-risk stigmata after standard medical care and endoscopic therapy.

Design: Comprehensive literature searches (1990-2011) were performed, seeking randomized trials comparing a routine with an as-needed second endoscopy.

Main outcome measurements: The main outcome was rebleeding. Secondary outcomes were surgery and mortality. Subanalyses assessed the influence of study quality, rebleeding definitions, endoscopic hemostasis modality, and proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapies. Analyses were performed with Revman 5.1. Results are shown as odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results: Only 4 published articles completely reporting studies and 4 abstracts (of 577 citations) were included (938 patients). Rebleeding was significantly decreased by a routine second-look endoscopy (OR 0.55; 95% CI, 0.37-0.81), as was surgery (OR 0.43; 95% CI, 0.19-0.96), but not mortality (OR 0.65; 95% CI, 0.26-1.62). Results remained robust with varying definitions of rebleeding, but not with varying endoscopic hemostasis modalities and PPI therapies; the only trial in which high-dose PPI was used did not show a benefit of a second-look endoscopy. When removing the 2 trials that included patients at highest risk of rebleeding, no significant benefit attributable to a second-look endoscopy was noted (OR 0.65; 95% CI, 0.42-1.00).

Limitations: The small number of trials and patients in each of these studies.

Conclusions: In the absence of high-dose PPI, especially in patients at very high risk (eg, active bleeding), routine second-look endoscopy appears effective in these selected patients with PUB. However, the generalizability of these results to the era of high-dose PPI and otherwise unselected patients with high-risk stigmata is unclear.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Hemostasis, Endoscopic / methods*
  • Humans
  • Models, Statistical
  • Odds Ratio
  • Peptic Ulcer Hemorrhage / diagnosis
  • Peptic Ulcer Hemorrhage / mortality
  • Peptic Ulcer Hemorrhage / prevention & control
  • Peptic Ulcer Hemorrhage / therapy*
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Recurrence
  • Risk
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Proton Pump Inhibitors