Epistaxis


Epistaxis
Nosebleed
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 R04.0
ICD-9 784.7
DiseasesDB 18327
eMedicine emerg/806 ent/701, ped/1618
MeSH C08.460.261

Epistaxis (from Greek ἐπιστάζω (epistazo) to bleed from the nose: ἐπί (epi) - "above", "over" + στάζω (stazo) - "to drip" [from the nostrils]) or a nosebleed is the relatively common occurrence of hemorrhage from the nose, usually noticed when the blood drains out through the nostrils. There are two types: anterior (the most common), and posterior (less common, more likely to require medical attention). Sometimes in more severe cases, the blood can come up the nasolacrimal duct and out from the eye. Fresh blood and clotted blood can also flow down into the stomach and cause nausea and vomiting. It is rarely fatal, accounting for only 4 of the 2.4 million deaths in the U.S. in 1999.[1]

Contents

Cause

The causes of nosebleeds can generally be divided into two categories, local and systemic factors, although it should be remembered that a significant number of nosebleeds occur with no obvious cause.

Local factors

Other possible factors

Systemic factors

Most common factors

  • Allergies
  • Infectious diseases (e.g. common cold)
  • Hypertension

Other possible factors

Pathophysiology

Nosebleeds are due to the rupture of a blood vessel within the richly perfused nasal mucosa. Rupture may be spontaneous or initiated by trauma. Nosebleeds are reported in up to 60% of the population with peak incidences in those under the age of ten and over the age of 50 and appear to occur in males more than females.[3] An increase in blood pressure (e.g. due to general hypertension) tends to increase the duration of spontaneous epistaxis.[4] Anticoagulant medication and disorders of blood clotting can promote and prolong bleeding. Spontaneous epistaxis is more common in the elderly as the nasal mucosa (lining) becomes dry and thin and blood pressure tends to be higher. The elderly are also more prone to prolonged nose bleeds as their blood vessels are less able to constrict and control the bleeding.

The vast majority of nose bleeds occur in the anterior (front) part of the nose from the nasal septum. This area is richly endowed with blood vessels (Kiesselbach's plexus). This region is also known as Little's area. Bleeding farther back in the nose is known as a posterior bleed and is usually due to bleeding from Woodruff's plexus,a venous plexus situated in the posterior part of inferior meatus.[5] Posterior bleeds are often prolonged and difficult to control. They can be associated with bleeding from both nostrils and with a greater flow of blood into the mouth.[6]

Treatment

The flow of blood normally stops when the blood clots, which may be encouraged by direct pressure applied by pinching the soft fleshy part of the nose. This applies pressure to Little's area (Kiesselbach's area), the source of the majority of nose bleeds and promotes clotting. Pressure should be firm and be applied for at least five minutes and up to 20 minutes; tilting the head forward will help decrease the chance of nausea and airway obstruction.[3] Swallowing excess blood can irritate the stomach and cause vomiting. Local application of an ice pack to the forehead or back of the neck or sucking an ice cube has seen widespread practice, but has been shown to not have any statistically significant effects on nasal mucosal blood flow.[7] There are conflicting opinions in the use of ice or nasal packing in the treatment of nose bleeds. Most suggest there is no detriment to using ice or nasal packing when initial efforts to pinch the nose fail,[3][8] while others advise against it.[9]

The local application of a vasoconstrictive agent has been shown to reduce the bleeding time in benign cases of epistaxis. The drugs oxymetazoline or phenylephrine are widely available in over-the-counter nasal sprays for the treatment of allergic rhinitis, and may be used for this purpose.[10]

Other products available to promote coagulation include Coalgan[11] (France), Stop Hemo (Sweden,[12] Italy, Switzerland[13]) and NasalCEASE (US[14] and Australia[15]). These are calcium alginate meshes or swabs that are inserted in the nasal cavity to accelerate coagulation. QuikClot nosebleed is also available in the U.S. (hemostatic OTC formula).

If these simple measures do not work then medical intervention may be needed to stop bleeding, possibly by an otolaryngologist (ENT doctor). In the first instance this can take the form of chemical cautery of any bleeding vessels or packing of the nose with ribbon gauze or an absorbent dressing (called anterior nasal packing). Such procedures are best carried out by a medical professional. Chemical cauterisation is most commonly conducted using local application of silver nitrate compound to any visible bleeding vessel. This is a painful procedure and the nasal mucosa should be anaesthetised first, preferably with the addition of topical adrenaline to further reduce bleeding. If bleeding is still uncontrolled or no focal bleeding point is visible then the nasal cavity should be packed with a sterile dressing, which by applying pressure to the nasal mucosa will tamponade the bleeding point. Ongoing bleeding despite good nasal packing is a surgical emergency and can be treated by endoscopic evaluation of the nasal cavity under general anaesthesia to identify an elusive bleeding point or to directly ligate (tie off) the blood vessels supplying the nose. These blood vessels include the sphenopalatine, anterior and posterior ethmoidal arteries. More rarely the maxillary or a branch of the external carotid artery can be ligated. The bleeding can also be stopped by intra-arterial embolization using a catheter placed in the groin and threaded up the aorta to the bleeding vessel by an interventional radiologist. Continued bleeding may be an indication of more serious underlying conditions.[16]

Chronic epistaxis resulting from a dry nasal mucosa can be treated by spraying saline in the nose three times per day, lubricating the nose with ointments or creams, such as Vaseline, and installing a humidifier in the bedroom. Intranasal application of petroleum based products like Vaseline should be avoided due to the risk of Lipid pneumonia. [17]

Application of a topical antibiotic ointment to the nasal mucosa has been shown to be an effective treatment for recurrent epistaxis.[18] One study found it to be as effective as nasal cautery in the prevention of recurrent epistaxis in patients without active bleeding at the time of treatment - both had a success rate of approximately 50 percent.[19]

Nosebleeds are rarely dangerous unless prolonged and heavy. Particularly in posterior bleeds, though, a great deal of blood may be swallowed and thus blood loss underestimated. Recurrent nosebleeds may cause anemia due to iron deficiency.

In popular culture

In the visual language of Japanese comics (manga) and animation (anime), a sudden, violent nosebleed indicates that the bleeding person is sexually aroused.[20][21] This is based on a Japanese folk belief according to which nosebleeds are signs of sexual excitement.[22]

See also

References

  1. ^ Work Table I. Deaths from each cause by 5-year age groups, race and sex: US, 1999 Page 1922. U.S. Centers for Disease Control Published 2001-05-11.
  2. ^ Yueng-Hsiang Chu & Jih-Chin Lee (2009). "Unilateral Epistaxis". New England Journal of Medicine 361 (9): e14. doi:10.1056/NEJMicm0807268. PMID 19710479. http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/361/9/e14. 
  3. ^ a b c Corry J. Kucik & Timothy Clenney (January 15, 2005). "Management of Epistaxis". American Academy of Family Physicians. http://www.aafp.org/afp/20050115/305.html. Retrieved January 31, 2010. 
  4. ^ J. F. Lubianca Neto, F. D. Fuchs, S. R. Facco, M. Gus, L. Fasolo, R. Mafessoni & A. L. Gleissner (1999). "Is epistaxis evidence of end-organ damage in patients with hypertension?". Laryngoscope 109 (7): 1111–1115. doi:10.1097/00005537-199907000-00019. PMID 10401851. 
  5. ^ The Journal of Laryngology & Otology (2008), 122: 1074-1077
  6. ^ name="AAFP"/
  7. ^ A. Teymoortash, A. Sesterhenn, R. Kress, N. Sapundzhiev & J. A. Werner (2003). "Efficacy of ice packs in the management of epistaxis". Clinical Otolaryngology & Allied Sciences 28 (6): 545–547. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2273.2003.00773.x. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bsc/cot/2003/00000028/00000006/art00013. 
  8. ^ Nose Bleed / Epistaxis Treatment MedIndia Online.net. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
  9. ^ "Nosebleeds". Rush University Medical Center. http://www.rush.edu/rumc/page-1098987337863.html. Retrieved March 5, 2008. 
  10. ^ Guarisco JL, Graham HD (1989). "Epistaxis in children: causes, diagnosis, and treatment". Ear Nose Throat J 68 (7): 522, 528–30, 532 passim. PMID 2676467. 
  11. ^ Coalgan ,“le saignement de nez” Retrieved 2010-07-16
  12. ^ Stop Hemo, “Stop Hemo Information Page” Retrieved 2010-07-16
  13. ^ Stop hemo Switzerland “Stop hemo information” Retrieved 2010-07-16
  14. ^ NasalCEASE “NasalCease Information Page” Retrieved 2010-03-15
  15. ^ NasalCEASE Australia “Nasalease information” Retrieved 2010-07-16
  16. ^ MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: Nosebleed U.S. National Library of Medicine Medline Plus service. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
  17. ^ "Exogenous lipoid pneumonia due to nasal application of petroleum jelly" (PDF). CHEST (American College of Chest Physicians) 105 (3): 968–969. March 1994. doi:10.1378/chest.105.3.968. PMID 8131586. http://chestjournal.chestpubs.org/content/105/3/968.full.pdf. 
  18. ^ Kubba H, MacAndie C, Botma M, Robison J, O'Donnell M, Robertson G, Geddes N (2001). "A prospective, single-blind, randomized controlled trial of antiseptic cream for recurrent epistaxis in childhood". Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci 26 (6): 465–8. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2273.2001.00502.x. PMID 11843924. 
  19. ^ Murthy P, Nilssen EL, Rao S, McClymont LG (1999). "A randomised clinical trial of antiseptic nasal carrier cream and silver nitrate cautery in the treatment of recurrent anterior epistaxis". Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci 24 (3): 228–31. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2273.1999.00236.x. PMID 10384851. 
  20. ^ "Manga: The Complete Guide, reviewed by Richard von Busack". Metroactive. http://www.metroactive.com/metro/01.16.08/books-manga-0803.html. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  21. ^ Morgan, Joyce (February 10, 2007). "Superheroes for a complex world". The Sydney Morning Herald. http://www.smh.com.au/news/books/superheroes-for-a-complex-world/2007/02/08/1170524225116.html. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  22. ^ "Anime Physics: Nosebleeds". Anime News Network. 17 July 2010. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2010-07-17/anime-physics/nosebleeds. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Epistaxis — Épistaxis Cet article possède un quasi homophone, voir Épitaxie.  Saignement de nez Une épistaxis est une …   Wikipédia en Français

  • ÉPISTAXIS — Hémorragie prenant son origine au niveau de la muqueuse nasale: c’est le banal saignement de nez. Rarement dangereuse par son abondance, l’épistaxis peut être traumatique ou spontanée. L’épistaxis spontanée résulte souvent d’une fragilité… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Epistaxis — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Epistaxis Clasificación y recursos externos Aviso médico …   Wikipedia Español

  • epistaxis — EPISTÁXIS s.n. Hemoragie nazală. – Din fr. épistaxis. Trimis de laurap, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  EPISTÁXIS s. (med.) hemoragie nazală. Trimis de siveco, 05.08.2004. Sursa: Sinonime  epistáxis s. n. (sil. mf. sta ) Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004 …   Dicționar Român

  • epistaxis — f. patol. Hemorragia nasal. Medical Dictionary. 2011. epistaxis episodios hemorrágicos de las fosas nasales …   Diccionario médico

  • epistaxis — medical Latin, from Gk. epistaxis “nosebleeding,” from epi “upon” (see EPI (Cf. epi )) + stazein “to let fall in drops” (see STALACTITE (Cf. stalactite)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Epistaxis — Ep i*stax is, n. [NL., fr. Gr. epi upon + ? to drop.] (Med.) Bleeding at the nose. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Epistaxis — (gr.), Nasenbluten …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Epistáxis — (griech.), Nasenbluten …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • EPISTAXIS — (от греч. epistaso сильно капаю), кровотечение из носа, бывает чаще чем из других органов вследствие нежности строения слизистой оболочки и богатства ее кровеносными сосудами. Местом для кровотечения может являться любой участок слизистой, но в… …   Большая медицинская энциклопедия

  • epistaxis — (Del gr. ἐπίσταξις, goteo). f. Med. Hemorragia nasal …   Diccionario de la lengua española


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