Telemetric real-time sensor for the detection of acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding

Biosens Bioelectron. 2016 Apr 15;78:524-529. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2015.11.073. Epub 2015 Dec 2.


Acute upper gastrointestinal bleedings from ulcers or esophago-gastric varices are life threatening medical conditions which require immediate endoscopic therapy. Despite successful endoscopic hemostasis, there is a significant risk of rebleeding often requiring close surveillance of these patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). Any time delay to recognize bleeding may lead to a high blood loss and increases the risk of death. A novel telemetric real-time bleeding sensor can help indicate blood in the stomach: the sensor is swallowed to detect active bleeding or is anchored endoscopically on the gastrointestinal wall close to the potential bleeding source. By telemetric communication with an extra-corporeal receiver, information about the bleeding status is displayed. In this study the novel sensor, which measures characteristic optical properties of blood, has been evaluated in an ex-vivo setting to assess its clinical applicability and usability. Human venous blood of different concentrations, various fluids, and liquid food were tested. The LED-based sensor was able to reliably distinguish between concentrated blood and other liquids, especially red-colored fluids. In addition, the spectrometric quality of the small sensor (size: 6.5mm in diameter, 25.5mm in length) was comparable to a much larger and technically more complex laboratory spectrophotometer. The experimental data confirm the capability of a miniaturized sensor to identify concentrated blood, which could help in the very near future the detection of upper gastrointestinal bleeding and to survey high-risk patients for rebleeding.

Keywords: Gastrointestinal bleeding; LED; Photometry; Sensor; Telemetry.

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques*
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / blood*
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / pathology
  • Hemorrhage / diagnosis*
  • Hemostasis, Endoscopic
  • Humans
  • Stomach / pathology
  • Telemetry*