Dieulafoy's lesion is an uncommon cause of gastric bleeding said to cause about 5% of all gastric bleeds in adults. Dieulafoy was a French surgeon who described this condition as “exulceratio simplex” in 1898.
Patient's with Dieulafoy's lesion have an erosion of the gastric mucosa caused by an aberrant arteriole that usually runs horizontally in the gastric fundus. A history of alcohol abuse or NSAID use is usually absent in Dieulafoy's.
The symptoms are haematemesis and/or malaena. It is diagnosed endoscopically and treated endoscopically. Endoscopic techniques used in treatment include bipolar electrocoagulation, monopolar electrocoagulation, injection sclerotherapy, heater probe, laser photocoagulation, epinephrine injection, haemoclipping and banding.
The mortality rate for Dieulafoy's was much higher before the era of endoscopy, where open surgery was the only treatment option.