Twenty-four patients with massive rectal hemorrhage and known or subsequently proved colonic diverticular disease had the bleeding site localized by mesenteric angiography and received intra-arterial infusion of vasopressin to arrest the bleeding. In twenty-two patients the bleeding was controlled with the vasopressin infusion whereas in the remaining two, hemorrhage did not stop and surgery was performed. Of the twenty-two patients in whom bleeding was arrested by vasopressin infusion, twelve received no further surgical therapy, five had elective prophylactic surgical resection after a period of hemostasis, and the remaining five underwent segmental resection for bleeding that recurred after cessation of the infusion. Of the twelve patients who were not operated on, three had rebleeding two, four, and twelve months after vasopressin infusion and two of these three patients required surgery. The remaining nine have had no recurrent bleeding for periods ranging from seven to thirty-four months. Of ten patients who had segmental resection after precise localization of the bleeding site and initial control with vasopressin, no one has had recurrent hemorrhage for periods ranging from two to eighteen months.
ASJC Scopus subject areas