A review of ischemic colitis: Is our clinical recognition and management adequate?

Michael Tadros, Shounak Majumder, John W. Birk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ischemic colitis is a common cause of hospital admissions; however it is frequently confused intellectually with mesenteric ischemia and often misdiagnosed as infectious diarrhea or Clostridium difficile colitis. Ischemic colitis is caused by non-occlusive insult to the small vessels supplying the colon without a clear precipitating factor. It is more common in females and in patients above 60 years of age. The classic presentation includes sudden onset of lower abdominal pain followed by the urge to defecate and bloody diarrhea. Focal right-sided ischemic colitis has more pain and a worse prognosis. Choosing the correct diagnostic studies is challenging and requires proficient knowledge of the disease. Management is usually conservative, however around 10-20% of the patients will require surgery. Acute ischemic colitis usually resolves; nevertheless some patients may develop chronic segmental colitis or a stricture. One ischemic colitis caveat is that it may be the first sign of undiagnosed cardiac disease. A firm grasp on this common yet little discussed condition is valuable to a gastrointestinal consultant and hospitalist alike.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-613
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Review of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume7
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Keywords

  • Colitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Ischemia
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Vascular disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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