Which nasogastric lavage findings suggest upper GI bleeding (UGIB)?

Updated: Aug 12, 2019
  • Author: Bennie Ray Upchurch, III, MD, FACP, AGAF, FACG, FASGE; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Nasogastric aspirates with blood or coffee-ground material are clear indications of UGIB, and a bloody nasogastric aspirate raises the likelihood of the presence of active bleeding or a nonbleeding visible vessel, as compared to coffee-grounds or a clear nasogastric aspirate. However, a clear or bile-stained nasogastric aspirate may be seen in up to 15%-18% of patients with an upper GI source. [116]  In addition, testing nasogastric aspirates for occult blood has not been proven to be useful.


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