Research Article

Prospective comparison of double-contrast barium meal examination and fibreoptic endoscopy in acute upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage.

Br Med J 1976; 2 doi: (Published 25 September 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;2:723
  1. G W Stevenson,
  2. R R Cox,
  3. C J Roberts


    Fibre-optic endoscopy was compared prospectively with double-contrast radiology in 53 consecutive patients admitted with acute gastrointestinal haemorrhage. The bleeding site was correctly identified by endoscopy in 94% of patients and the final diagnosis was correctly given in 89%. The corresponding figures with radiology were 83% and 74%. Among the 50 patients with a final diagnosis of a bleeding site in the upper gastrointestinal tract endoscopy indicated the site of bleeding in all and radiology indicated it in 88%. Both investigations were well tolerated by patients. Endoscopy is the investigation of choice, but when it is not available double-contrast radiology will show the site of bleeding in 80-90% of patients.