Gastrointestinal bleeding after cold biopsy

Am J Gastroenterol. 1998 Jul;93(7):1141-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.1998.346_e.x.


Cold biopsy of the gastric mucosa is useful in many gastroduodenal disorders. Antral biopsies are done with increasing frequency to confirm Helicobacter pylori infection and to determine the type and content of gastritis. Gastrointestinal bleeding after gastric cold biopsy is rare. We report two patients who developed melena after cold biopsy of the gastric antrum. Repeat gastroscopies excluded lesions other than the biopsied sites as the source of bleeding. Colonoscopies in both cases did not reveal any evidence of lower GI bleed. Relevant medications include amlodipine, in case 1, and brufen, which was used in case 2 but discontinued before biopsy. Literature review has shown the rarity of clinically significant hemorrhage resulting from gastric cold biopsy. Nevertheless, all patients undergoing gastroscopy should be informed of this potential complication.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amlodipine / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biopsy / adverse effects*
  • Cold Temperature
  • Colonoscopy
  • Female
  • Gastric Mucosa / pathology*
  • Gastritis / pathology
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Gastroscopy
  • Helicobacter Infections / pathology
  • Helicobacter pylori / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Ibuprofen / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Melena / etiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Pyloric Antrum / pathology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Amlodipine
  • Ibuprofen