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Critical presentation and management of an acute gastrointestinal haemorrhage as a result of an arterioenteric fistula secondary to a failed pancreatic allograft


We present a case of a 60-year-old woman status post failed pancreatic transplant, presenting with right lower extremity pain and large volume rectal bleeding. The team initiated a massive transfusion protocol. Investigations revealed an arterioenteric (AE) fistula between the right external iliac artery and terminal ileum. The patient was then emergently sent for right iliac artery stent placement, successfully stopping the active arterial haemorrhage. Afterwards, the surgical team transected the pancreatic jejunal anastomosis, subsequently resecting 7 cm of jejunum. On postoperative day 1, the patient became unstable, going into disseminated intravascular coagulation evidenced by low platelet count, elevated prothrombin time and bloody output from multiple sites. Resuscitation with pressors and blood product transfusion was unsuccessful. She was made comfort measures only and expired shortly after extubation. Although a rare aetiology, it is important to consider AE fistulas in patients presenting with vascular and gastrointestinal symptoms in the setting of a failed allograft.

  • diabetes
  • gi bleeding
  • pancreas and biliary tract
  • vascular surgery
  • transplantation

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