Treatment of lower gastrointestinal bleeding: Vasopressin infusion versus embolization

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Traditionally, embolization has been reserved for treatment of upper gastrointestinal bleeding whereas lower gastrointestinal (LGI) bleeding has been controlled with vasopressin infusion. This is based on findings in older literature in which infarction frequently complicated LGI embolization. With modern embolization techniques, clinically significant bowel ischemia has become an uncommon complication. Although the efficacies of vasopressin and embolization are fairly comparable, embolotherapy has advantages in terms of quicker completion of therapy and decreased likelihood of systemic complications. Although vasopressin is still probably preferable for diffuse lesions and cases in which superselective catheterization is not technically possible, embolization should be considered a primary option for treating LGI bleeding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-543
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2003


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