Background: Diverticular disease is a common cause for lower gastrointestinal bleeding. Although the hemorrhage often resolves spontaneously, some patients will require massive transfusions and emergency surgery. In this study we report risk factors predictive of severe diverticular bleeds. Methods: We completed a retrospective analysis of 99 patients, admitted with lower gastrointestinal bleeding and colonoscopic evidence of diverticulosis and no other cause of the hemorrhage between January 1995 and December 2005. A database was generated and univariate and multivariate analyses were carried out. Results: Of the 99 patients, 23 patients were classified as having a severe bleed defined as having a systolic blood pressure below 90 mm Hg, requirement for more than 6 units of transfusion, or emergent surgery. Multiple logistic regression showed that the initial hemoglobin (p = 0.001), INR ≥ 1.5 (p = 0.003), initial diastolic blood pressure (p = 0.024), initial heart rate (p = 0.047), and blood pressure medications (p = 0.049) predicted severe diverticular hemorrhage. Conclusions: The identified predictor variables are all quantifiable at the time of initial presentation, and these may help identify severe cases of diverticular bleeding requiring urgent management.
- Lower gastrointestinal bleed
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