Laser therapy and surgical treatment in transfusion-dependent patients with upper-gastrointestinal vascular ectasia

Lino Polese, Imerio Angriman, Duilio Pagano, Maria L. Tenderini, Francesca Polese, Mauro Frego, Davide F. D'Amico, Lorenzo Norberto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We report the results of endoscopic laser therapy on 59 patients with upper gastrointestinal vascular ectasia. After 300 sessions, complications were two nonbleeding and three bleeding ulcers, treated successfully with endoscopic therapy. After treatment, blood transfusions were abolished in 61% and reduced in 22% of the patients, whereas 17% of the patients were nonresponders and 5% died for bleeding. Treatment outcome correlated with endoscopic healing, number of yearly transfusions, and lesions' localization. Patients, who did not respond to laser therapy by the sixth session, showed no improvement afterwards. Four patients with persistence of bleeding despite laser therapy underwent surgery and in three of them, a long-term control of bleeding was obtained. In conclusion, laser therapy was safe and effective; nonetheless, surgical treatment should be considered, after adequate staging, for those patients receiving more than 10 blood units per year or who have undergone more than six laser sessions without improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-146
Number of pages7
JournalLasers in Medical Science
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006

Keywords

  • Diode laser
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Nd:YAG laser
  • Watermelon stomach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Surgery

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