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Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Apr;8(4):333-43; quiz e44. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2009.12.017. Epub 2009 Dec 29.

The role of colonoscopy and radiological procedures in the management of acute lower intestinal bleeding.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, USA.


There are multiple strategies for evaluating and treating lower intestinal bleeding (LIB). Colonoscopy has become the preferred initial test for most patients with LIB because of its diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities and its safety. However, few studies have directly compared colonoscopy with other techniques and there are controversies regarding the optimal timing of colonoscopy, the importance of colon preparation, the prevalence of stigmata of hemorrhage, and the efficacy of endoscopic hemostasis. Angiography, radionuclide scintigraphy, and multidetector computed tomography scanning are complementary modalities, but the requirement of active bleeding at the time of the examination limits their routine use. In addition, angiography can result in serious complications. This review summarizes the available evidence regarding colonoscopy and radiographic studies in the management of acute LIB.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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