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Upper gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is defined as bleeding proximal to the ligament of Treitz. The most important aspect of management of GI bleeding is to locate the site and cause of bleeding. The aim of the study is to find out the common etiology, presentation and management, including the role of upper GI endoscopy. Recent advances have meant that endoscopic hemostatic methods are now associated with a reduced rate of re-bleeding, cost, blood transfusion, length of hospital stay and mortality. A prospective study of 50 cases was carried out between August 2001 and July 2003. Patients with signs and symptoms suggestive of upper GI bleeding (UGIB) such as hematemesis, melena, aspirated blood from nasogastric tubes, profuse hematochezia, etc., were included in the study. The patients were selected randomly. The most common cause of UGIB in the present study was acute erosive gastritis (34%) followed by portal hypertension (24%) and peptic ulcer (22%). All 50 patients underwent upper GI endoscopy, of whom 39 patients were treated conservatively and 11 patients underwent endotherapy to control bleeding. Out of 39 patients treated non-endoscopically, 6 cases required laparotomy to control UGIB. 8 of 50 cases had past history of UGIB, 5 of whom had a previous history of endotherapy. One case was treated with devascularization as routine hemostatic methods failed. So, initial method of choice to control the bleeding was endotherapy and surgery was undertaken if an endoscopic method failed. The most common cause of hematemesis in our setting was acute erosive gastritis followed by portal hypertension. Endoscopy is a valuable minimal invasive method to diagnose and treat upper GI bleeding.
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