Hypotension develops one to two hours before other symptoms in peptic ulcer rebleeding; a matched cohort study

Nikolaj Vestergaard Carlsen*, Stig Borbjerg Laursen, Ove B. Schaffalitzky de Muckadell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Background: Rebleeding is a frequent complication of peptic ulcer bleeding (PUB) and is associated with increased mortality. Blood pressure and heart rate are two easy non-invasive measurements to evaluate the hemodynamics and therefore a standard observation during hospitalization. Objective: We aimed to investigate the dynamics of systolic blood pressure and heart rate up to time of peptic ulcer rebleeding. Design: Retrospective matched cohort study. Hemodynamics in patients with peptic ulcer rebleeding was compared to hemodynamics in a matched control group consisting of patients with PUB without rebleeding. Blood pressure and heart rate in the six hours up to diagnosis of rebleeding was compared with baseline in the case cohort as well as with the matched control group. Results: Thirty-eight patients with peptic ulcer rebleeding and 66 controls were included. Mean age was 75 years, 62% were males and 30-day mortality was 23%. Baseline systolic blood pressure in cases was 114 mmHg. Compared to baseline, we found significant decrease in systolic blood pressure two hours before rebleeding (4 mmHg; p = 0.041) and one hour before rebleeding (14 mmHg; p = 0.0002). Mean systolic blood pressure 30 min before rebleeding was 89 mmHg. No significant change was found in heart rate (p = 0.99). In the control group no change was found in systolic blood pressure or heart rate. Conclusion: In patients with peptic ulcer rebleeding, hypotension develops 1–2 h before other symptoms of rebleeding. Thus, close monitoring of blood pressure is needed in order to ensure early identification of rebleeding in high-risk patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1011-1016
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


  • heart rate
  • hemodynamic changes
  • Peptic ulcer hemorrhage (MeSH term)
  • systolic blood pressure


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