25 Aug 06

Pro/con debate: Octreotide has an important role in the treatment of gastrointestinal bleeding of unknown origin?

Posted in Bleeding at 9:12 by Laci

By Y Arabi, B Al Knawy, A N Barkun and M Bardou

Critical Care 2006, 10:218

Whether it is the primary reason for admission or a complication of critical illness, upper gastrointestinal bleeding is commonly encountered in the intensive care unit. In this setting, in the absence of endoscopy, intensivists generally provide supportive care (transfusion of blood products) and acid suppression (such as proton pump inhibitors). More recently, octreotide (a somatostatin analogue) has been used in such patients. However, its precise role in patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding is not necessarily clear and the drug is associated with significant costs. In this issue of Critical Care, two expert teams debate the merits of using octreotide in non-variceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding.

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