Rare but critical: Aberrant vascular communication leading to multiorgan ischemia after prophylactic gastroduodenal artery embolization for refractory upper gastrointestinal bleeding

Document Type

Case Report


Gastroenterology; Medicine; Radiology


Upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB) carries a high risk of morbidity and mortality despite recent improvements in diagnosis and management. Many patients failed to respond to initial endoscopic and medical management. Transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) is now considered the next line of therapy over surgery in refractory UGIB because of its good safety profile and high technical and clinical success rate. We discuss the case of a 66-year-old female patient who presented with massive UGIB and had TAE after endoscopic hemostasis failed. She developed widespread ischemia involving multiple organs following the procedure, including the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, and small intestine, as a result of an abnormal communication between the gastroduodenal artery (GDA) and superior mesenteric artery (SMA), resulting in PVA particle reflux and widespread ischemic injury. It is important to carefully evaluate the vascular anatomic variations before the procedure to avoid potential complications of ischemia.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Radiology Case Reports