Any hematemesis, coffee-ground emesis, melena, or hematochezia.
Any weight loss or changes in bowel habits.
Any vomiting and retching.
Any history aortic graft.
Any history of ASA, NSAID’s, steroids.
Any ETOH abuse.
Any history of iron or bismuth which can simulate melena and beets which can simulate hematochezia. Note stool guaiac testing will be negative.
Vital signs may show hypotension and tachycardia.
Cool, clammy skin then in shock.
Spider angiomata, palmer erythema, jaundice, and gynecomastia seen in liver disease.
Petechiae and purpura seen in coagulopathy.
Careful ENT exam to rule out causes that can mimic upper GI bleeds.
Proper abdominal exam and rectal exam.
BUN/Creatine –BUN will be elevated in upper GI bleeds
Liver function studies
Type and cross-match
Abdominal series - not beneficial unless specific indications
Angiography - can be diagnostic and therapeutic but requires a brisk bleed at .5-2ml/min
Bleeding scans - can only be diagnostic but are more sensitive then angiography and require a bleeding rate of only .1ml/min
Colonoscopy - is diagnostic and therapeutic and more accurate than bleeding scans and angiography
Large-bore intravenous lines with fluid replacement.
Class I + II hemorrhage replace with crystalloid.
Class III + IV hemorrhage replace with crystalloid and blood.
NG tube should be placed and can determine upper GI from lower GI but not 100%. Also NG tubes will not worsen varice bleeds.
Foley catheter for hypotension patients to monitor output.
Somatostatin, octretide for varices
Must get early consultation with gastroenterologist and general surgeon for significant GI bleeds.
Peptic Ulcer Disease Jarrett Lefberg South Pointe Hospital
10% US population >17 years of age have peptic ulcer disease at some time.
White Americans have a 10% prevalence of H. pylori by age 35 and 80% by age 75.
Black Americans have a 45% prevalence of H. pylori by age 25.
Prostaglandins produce mucous and bicarbonate ions which protect the tissue in the stomach by being destroyed with hydrochloric acid and pepsin.
Dyspepsia is the imbalance between the protective mucosa and acid/pepsin.
Peptic ulcer which is a defect beyond muscularis mucosa will develop if there is an imbalance.
Note -stress ulcers do not extent through the muscularis mucosa.
Two types of peptic ulcers
1) Duodenal ulcers which occur in the first portion of the duodenum.
2) Gastric ulcers which usually occur in the lesser curvature of the stomach.
H. pylori - a spiral, urease producing flagellated bacterium which lives between the mucus gel and mucosa. Its production of urease, cytotoxins, proteases and other compounds disturb the gel and increase tissue exposure to acid and pepsin.
H. pylori is seen in 95% of patients with duodenal ulcers and 80% of gastric ulcers.
Note only 10-20% of patients who are infected with H. pylori will develop ulcers.
NSAID’s - inhibit prostaglandins which in turn increases tissue exposure to acid and pepsin.
Zollinger-Ellison syndrome - is a gastrin secreting tumor which creates such a high acid level it over rides the protective gel.
Cigarette smoking - inhibits bicarbonate ion production and increases gastric emptying.
Type O blood
Prolonged use of corticosteriods
Note diet and alcohol are not predisposing factors to the development of peptic ulcers.
Epigastric pain - (gnawing, aching or burning) is the main complaint.
Gastric ulcers usually develop pain shortly after eating.
Duodenal ulcers usually develop pain 2-3 hours after eating and awaken patients at night. Pain can be relieved by food.
Physical exam of uncomplicated PUD, there may be a finding of epigastric tenderness.
Definite diagnosis can only be made by visualization with an upper GI or endoscopy.
Endoscopy has the advantage of being able to take a biopsy which is definitely needed for gastric ulcers to rule out malignancy.
Several ways to determine H. pylori infection
a) during endoscopy a rapid urease test, histologic
study, or culture can be done.
a) serologic studies which can not be done as a
follow up for cure due to antibodies being
positive for several years after eradication of
b) urea breath test can be used to confirm cure.
c) stool antigens test can also be used to confirm
Stop any offending agents such as NSAID’s.
Bland diets with frequent feedings has not been shown to be effective.
Antacids – neutralize gastric acids.
a) good for acute pain relief and healing ulcers.
b) poor compliance due frequency of doses.
c) inhibit absorption of some drugs such as warfarin,
Sulcralfate – locally binds to the base of the ulcer and therefore protects it from acid
a) Also has been shown to absorb bile acids,
inhibit pepsin activity, and increase
b) Needs an acidic environment to work
therefore not beneficial to give antacids
c) Causes constipation, dry mouth and inhibits
the absorption of many medications.
Misoprostol – prostaglandin E1 analogue which acts as natural prostaglandin in the body
a) Only indicated for prevention of NSAID
-induced gastric ulcers in high risk patients.
b) contraindicated in pregnant women and
women in childbearing age because it
causes spontaneous abortion.
c) can cause diarrhea and crampy abdominal
Bismuth compounds – decrease pepsin activity, increase mucus secretion, form a barrier protection on ulcers, augment prostaglandin synthesis, slow hydrogen ion diffusion across mucosal barrier, and H. pylori bactericidal effect.
a) Used in triple drug combinations for
the treatment of H. pylori.
If H. pylori positive then must be given antibiotics to prevent recurrence of ulcer.
Usually done with triple or quadruple treatment regimens.
Some antibiotics in regimens are metronidazole, tetracycline, amoxicillin, clarithromycin.
Complications of PUD
GI bleeding is the most common complication of PUD and the most common cause of upper GI bleeding.
Please see previous lecture on management of GI Bleeding.
Complications of PUD
Initially a chemical peritonitis develops which then progresses to a bacterial peritonitis.
Anterior perforation - patients will have sudden abdominal pain with guarding and rebound. 60-70% will demonstrate free air of x-rays.
Posterior perforation - patients will develop back pain with no free air on x-ray and may mimic pancreatitis but lipase will be normal or only slightly elevated.
No free air on x-rays cannot rule our perforation.
IV fluids, electrolyte corrections, NG tube, broad spectrum antibiotics and surgery.
Complications of PUD
Gastric outlet obstruction
Scaring from healed ulcers or edema from active ulcer with development of obstruction.
Obstruction will cause gastric dilation, vomiting, dehydration, metabolic alkalosis.
Patients will develop upper abdominal pain with vomiting, early satiety, weight loss, succussion splash.
Abdominal x-ray will show dilated stomach shadow with large air-fluid level.
IV fluids, electrolyte corrections, NG tube, and surgery if needed.
The most common cause of a lower GI bleed is?
D) AV malformations
2) Colonoscopy is diagnostic and therapeutic and is more accurate than bleeding scans and angiography for GI bleeds.
3) Only 40% of patients who are infected with H. pylori will develop ulcers.
4) Treatment of ulcers which are positive for H. pylori need?