Purpose: To evaluate the effectiveness of a therapeutic barium enema as a treatment for colonic diverticulum bleeding, by using a standard concentration as a diagnostic examination.
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 68 cases of the patients admitted to our hospital with colonic diverticular bleeding between October 2012 and September 2017. We evaluated the following items: (1) the presence/absence of a previous history of diverticular bleeding, (2) the use of medications (anticoagulants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and antiplatelet drugs), (3) the location of bleeding, (4) the presence/absence of previous treatment and the result, (5) the time between bleeding and the beginning of the barium enema, (6) procedural success, (7) the clinical success of the initial hemostasis, (8) the clinical success of preventing recurrence, and (9) complications such as perforation and diverticulitis associated with this procedure.
Results: Four patients (three men and one woman; age range 60-85 years; median age 76 years) who underwent therapeutic barium enema with a concentration equivalent for diagnostic purpose (78 w/v%) were included. The follow-up period ranged from 11 to 12 months (median 12 months). All three patients who received a barium enema for initial hemostasis were successfully treated. All four patients remained free from recurrence during the follow-up period. There was no complication due to barium in this series.
Conclusion: Although we had no statistical evidence, a therapeutic barium enema with a standard concentration as a diagnostic examination may be effective for both the initial hemostasis and preventing the recurrence of colonic diverticular bleeding without complications.