Family Physician, 2001;11:24-26.


Epistaxis is a common clinical condition and perhaps the most common ENT cause for emergency hospital admission. Commonly epistaxis originates from the anterior septum and is easily controlled with caurterization and packing. Posterior epistaxis is less common, but more difficult to treat. It usually occurs in the elderly and is frequently associated with hypertension, artherosclerosis and conditions that decrease platelets and clotting function. In the elderly and hypertensive patient the source of bleeding is likely from the sphenopalatine area in lateral posterior nasal wall. Intractable posterior epistaxis that persists despite repeated use of nasal packing has been treated in many different ways. Conventional methods of arterial ligation in intractable epistaxis often involve surgical morbidity as well as failure due to arterial anastomosis. Embolization is most effective in hands of an experience radiologist, in patients with epistaxis refractory to arterial ligation, bleeding site difficult to reach surgically or epistaxis due to general bleeding disorder. Endoscopic ligation or clipping of sphenopalatine artery is a relatively simple and effective procedure for control of intractable posterior epistaxis.