Catheter-induced vasospasm in the treatment of acute lower gastrointestinal bleeding

Jacob Cynamon, Eli Atar, Ari Steiner, Brad M. Hoppenfeld, Marcy B. Jagust, Madeline Rosado, Seymour Sprayregen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To demonstrate results in managing lower gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding with the use of superselective catheterization and intentional induction of vasospasm of the bleeding vessel without the use of embolic agents or vasospasm-inducing medications. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective review of 15 episodes of lower GI bleeding treated in the past 6 years by intentional catheter-induced vasospasm (CIV) to achieve thrombosis of a bleeding source was conducted. Nine patients had angiographically proven inferior mesenteric artery bleeding and six had angiographically proven superior mesenteric artery bleeding. RESULTS: Bleeding was stopped initially in all patients after effective treatment of the feeding artery. Only one patient experienced a repeat episode of bleeding 2 days later, which required hemicolectomy. Two other patients who underwent adequate embolization underwent surgery at the discretion of the surgeon involved. The remainder were clinically observed and discharged after return of stable vital signs and hematocrit levels. None of the patients treated had clinically evident intestinal ischemia or infarction. There was one significant repeat incidence of bleeding 2 months after CIV that may have represented recurrent bleeding from the original site. CONCLUSION: CIV may be a safe and effective first-line method of embolizing known lower GI bleeding. Whether CIV is used as primary therapy or as the result of spasm incurred during superselective catheterization, the patient may be regarded as successfully treated and followed accordingly, thereby possibly avoiding acute surgical therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-216
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003


  • Gastrointestinal tract, hemorrhage
  • Mesenteric arteries, hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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