Immediate detection of acute internal bleeding


Acute bleeding of the intestinal tract is a serious medical problem with a high degree of clinical and socio-economic relevance. Gastrointestinal bleeding constitutes the most frequent gastroenterological emergency, occurring in 15 to 150 persons per 100,000 inhabitants per year [Silverstein FE, et al., Arch Intern Med 1981]. The two most common causes of gastrointestinal bleeding are stomach ulcers (59% of all cases) and varices of the upper intestinal tract (10% of all cases). Both disease patterns display a high rate of fatality and a high probability of recurrence of bleeding after endoscopic treatment. The recurrence of bleeding that has once been treated is accompanied by a high mortality rate of 7-10% in the case of stomach ulcers and as much as 30% in the case of varices [Krige JEJ, et al., World J Surg 2005]. Today, diagnosis of acute bleeding of the intestinal tract is based on its clinical symptomatology: vomiting of blood, melena, or signs of anemia. These symptoms often occur with a delay.

The novineon technologies team has developed an innovative sensor technology that detects bleeding within the intestinal tract immediately.  This sensor technology has been integrated in a telemetric implant that can be positioned in the intestinal tract with the goal of positively influencing the treatment of risk patients. When bleeding occurs, the implant sends a warning signal via a telemetric connection to the patient or nursing staff, thereby enabling the immediate pursuit of further diagnostic and therapeutic measures.

Application scenario

The primary application of the bleeding detector is in the monitoring of patients who have a heightened bleeding risk. Such patients may have a bleeding stomach ulcer or esophagus varices, which displays a drastic increase in acute bleeding after endoscopic treatment (short-term application). Furthermore, patients who have a high risk of bleeding due to anticoagulant medication can also be monitored (long-term monitoring). 

Application of the bleeding detection implant

The bleeding detection implant can be positioned during the endoscopic treatment of a bleeding lesion in the intestinal tract, for which purpose the system includes special endoscopic instruments.  The implant is placed on the intestinal wall by means of an endoscopic NiTinol clip (OTSC® System, Ovesco Endoscopy AG). Thereafter the sensor continuously checks the intestinal tract for blood.  

After the treatment of acute bleeding, e.g. complications developing from gastric ulcers or gastroesophagal varices, the monitoring time is approximately 3-4 days. In the event that blood is detected, an alarm signal is sent to an extra-corporal receiver and the patient as well as the nursing staff are informed. With this early detection system, the patient undergoes endoscopic control even before the clinical symptoms of blood loss become evident.

Prototype of the blood detection implant

Prototypes of the blood detection implant include the blood detection sensor, batteries and a transmitter unit. The implant is made of biocompatible synthetic material. With a length of 25 mm and diameter of 5.4 mm, it is possible to transport the entire sensor during the application in a 6-mm working channel of a flexible endoscope. 

novineon technologies pursues the goal of clinical use of the implant. We thus hope to have a positive influence on the treatment of patients with gastrointestinal bleeding.