Poor endoscopic findings in children with non variceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding: is biopsy necessary?

Hippokratia 2010; 14(4):261-264

A. Giannakopoulos, A. Logothetis, J. Panayiotou, K. Van-Vliet, I. Orfanou, E. Roma-Giannikou


Background: Gastrointestinal bleeding in infants and children is a potentially serious condition in the practice of general pediatrics that requires investigation. The objective of this study is to describe the endoscopic and histopathological findings in children with upper gastrointestinal (UGI) bleeding of non variceal origin. Patients and Methods: We performed a retrospective study of the medical records of 181 children, aged 1 month to 15.2 years, with non variceal UGI bleeding, who were admitted in our department over the period 1988-2008 and underwent upper GI endoscopy accompanied by histology. Patients were divided in 4 groups according to their age (Á=0-1 years, Â= 1-6 years, C=6-12 years, D= 12-16 years).
Results: An endoscopically evident bleeding source was detected in only 5% of all patients. Histological examination revealed increased incidence of eosinophilic infiltration in infants, in contrast to all other age groups, where non-specific or H. pylori related inflammation predominated. Peptic ulcer was found in 4.4% of all patients.
Conclusion: Although an evident bleeding source was detected in only a small percentage of patients, the accompanying histological examination provided additional information regarding possible underlying diseases and contributed to the subsequent therapeutic management.