Intended for healthcare professionals

Papers And Short Reports

Endoscopic injection of adrenaline for actively bleeding ulcers: a randomised trial

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988; 296 doi: (Published 11 June 1988) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988;296:1631
  1. S C S Chung,
  2. J W C Leung,
  3. R J C Steele,
  4. T J Crofts,
  5. A K C Li


    A prospective randomised trial was performed to assess the efficacy of endoscopic injection of adrenaline for actively bleeding ulcers. Emergency endoscopy in 961 patients admitted for upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage identified 68 patients with actively bleeding ulcers. These 68 patients were randomised to receive either endoscopic injection of adrenaline or no endoscopic treatment. After endoscopy both groups were managed in an identical manner, and strict criteria for emergency operation were adhered to in both groups. Bleeding was initially controlled in all 34 patients assigned to the treatment group. Significantly fewer patients in the treatment group than in the control group needed emergency operations (five v 14, respectively). In addition, in the treatment group the median transfusion requirement was significantly less (three v five units of blood) and the median hospital stay shorter (six v eight days). No complications were observed with the injection of adrenaline, and the rate of healing of ulcers in those attending for endoscopy six weeks after discharge was similar in both groups (81% (17 out of 21 patients) in the treatment group v 79% (11 out of 14) in the control group).

    Injection of adrenaline is effective in stopping bleeding from actively bleeding ulcers.