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World J Gastrointest Endosc. 2013 Feb 16;5(2):56-61. doi: 10.4253/wjge.v5.i2.56.

Repeat colonoscopy's value in gastrointestinal bleeding.

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  • 1Parit Mekaroonkamol, Kimberly Jegel Chaput, Pojnicha Mekaroonkamol, Sherry Pomerantz, Department of Internal Medicine, Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA 19141, United States.



To assess the diagnostic yield and clinical value of early repeat colonoscopies for indications other than colorectal cancer (CRC) screening/surveillance.


A retrospective review of patients who had more than one colonoscopy performed for the same indication within a three year time frame at our tertiary care referral hospital between January 1, 2000 and January 1, 2010 was conducted. Exclusion criteria included repeat colonoscopies performed for CRC screening/surveillance, poor bowel preparation, suspected complications from the index procedure, and incomplete initial procedure. Primary outcome was new endoscopic finding that led to an endoscopic therapeutic intervention or any change in clinical management. Clinical parameters including age, sex, race, interval between procedures, indication of the procedure, presenting symptoms, severity of symptoms, hemodynamic instability, duration between onset of symptoms and when the procedure was performed, change in endoscopist, withdrawal time, location of colonic lesions and improvement of quality of bowel preparation were analyzed using bivariate analysis and logistic regression analysis to examine correlation with this primary outcome.


Among 19  772 colonoscopies performed during the above mentioned period, 947 colonoscopies (4.79%) were repeat colonoscopies performed within 3 years from the index procedure. Out of these repeat colonoscopies, 139 patient pairs met the inclusion criteria. The majority of repeat colonoscopies were for lower gastrointestinal bleeding (88.4%), change in bowel habits (6.4%) and abdominal pain (5%). Among 139 eligible patient pairs of colonoscopies, only repeat colonoscopies that were done for lower gastrointestinal bleeding and abdominal pain produced endoscopic findings that led to a change in management [25 out of 123 (20.33%) and 2 out of 7 (28.57%), respectively]. When looking at only recurrent lower gastrointestinal bleeding cases, new endoscopic findings included 8 previously undetected hemorrhoid lesions (6.5%), 7 actively bleeding lesions requiring endoscopic intervention, which included 3 bleeding arterio-venous malformations (2.43%), 2 bleeding radiation colitis (1.6%), and 2 bleeding internal hemorrhoids (1.6%), 5 previously undetected tubular adenomas [4 were smaller than 1 cm (4.9%) and 1 was larger than 1 cm (0.8%)], 3 radiation colitis (2.43%), 1 rectal ulcer (0.8%), and 1 previously undetected right sided colon cancer (0.8%). Of the 25 new endoscopic findings, 18 (72%) were found when repeat colonoscopy was done within the first year after the index procedure. These findings were 1 rectal ulcer, 3 radiation colitis, 4 new hemorrhoid lesions, 3 previously undetected tubular adenomas, and 7 actively bleeding lesions requiring endoscopic intervention. Of all parameters analyzed, only the interval between procedures less than one year was associated with higher likelihood of finding a clinically significant change in repeat colonoscopy (odds ratios of interval between procedures of 1-2 year and 2-3 year compared to 0-1 year were 0.09; 95%CI 0.01-0.74, P = 0.025 and 0.26; 95%CI 0.09-0.72, P = 0.010 respectively). No complications were observed among all 139 colonoscopy pairs.


There is clinical value of repeating a colonoscopy for recurrent lower gastrointestinal bleeding, especially within the first year after the index procedure.


Colonic disease; Colonoscopy; Diagnostic yield; Lower gastrointestinal hemorrhage; Recurrent hemorrhage

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