A study in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy is the first case series to test the benefits and safety of provocative testing combined with endoscopy.
Here's what you need to know.
1. Researchers from Baton Rouge-based Louisiana State University Health led the study in an attempt to find gastrointestinal bleeding.
2. GI bleeding occurs in more than 500,000 patient cases each year. If the bleeding isn't identified and contained, it can cause patient death. It also stains hospital resources because of the need for repeated transfusions and hospitalizations.
3. The LSU Health team administered blood thinners to the patients to identify the source of the bleeding. The researchers reviewed a database of endoscopic procedures and identified 27 patients with refractory bleeding who received provocative agents during treatment.
4. The patients all had anemia or persistent bleeding. Provocative testing was successful in 15 patients, or 56 percent of the patients.
5. Lead author Daniel Raines, MD, said the decision to provoke bleeding in patients without knowing the source "should not be taken lightly." He believes the study demonstrates that provocative endoscopy can be used successfully when the risk is necessary.