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Ischemic Colitis

By

Parswa Ansari

, MD, Hofstra Northwell-Lenox Hill Hospital, New York

Last full review/revision Apr 2020| Content last modified Apr 2020
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Ischemic colitis is a transient reduction in blood flow to the colon. Diagnosis is by CT or colonoscopy. Treatment is supportive with IV fluids, bowel rest, and antibiotics.

Diagnosis of Ischemic Colitis

  • CT or colonoscopy

Diagnosis of ischemic colitis is made by CT or colonoscopy.

Angiography or magnetic resonance angiography is not indicated.

Treatment of Ischemic Colitis

  • IV fluids, bowel rest, and antibiotics

  • Rarely surgery

Treatment of ischemic colitis is supportive with IV fluids, bowel rest, and antibiotics.

The underlying cause of the low-flow state (eg, control of cardiac arrhythmia) is treated if relevant.

Surgery is rarely required, unless ischemic colitis is a complication of a vascular procedure or there is full-thickness necrosis. About 5% of patients have a recurrence. Occasionally, strictures develop at the site of the ischemia several weeks later, necessitating surgical resection.

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