Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage of Obscure Origin
Yoel Siegel, David Ergaz, Oscar Liphshitz, Felix Gottesfeld, Zev Sthoeger
Depts. of Medicine B and Surgery, and Gastroenterology Unit, Kaplan Medical Center, Rehovot (Associated with Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem)
Gastrointestinal bleeding of obscure origin consists of recurrent bouts of acute or chronic bleeding for which no definite source is discovered in routine endoscopic and barium contrast studies of the upper and lower gastrointestinal tracts. Usually its cause is angiodysplasia of the intestine, but many cases are due to tumors, mostly of the small bowel, which may be malignant.
In patients under the age of 50, the proportion with malignancy is relatively high (up to 14%) as compared to older patients. We describe a 45-year-old woman who suffered from gastrointestinal bleeding for 3 years. The cause of bleeding was not found despite extensive work-up.
In her last admission for acute gastrointestinal hemorrhage she was given a total of 30 units of blood. A tumor of the small intestine found by angiography was excised and found to be a stromal tumor of uncertain malignant potential. 1 year after operation she is asymptomatic without bleeding and her hemoglobin is stable without treatment.