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Pathophysiology and causes of lower gastrointestinal haemorrhage 

Pathophysiology and causes of lower gastrointestinal haemorrhage
Chapter:
Pathophysiology and causes of lower gastrointestinal haemorrhage
Author(s):

Leslie M. Kobayashi

and Raul Coimbra

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199600830.003.0179
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date: 18 February 2020

Lower gastrointestinal bleeding (LGIB), presenting as melena or haematochezia, is a common cause of emergency department visits and hospital admission, and is responsible for significant health care expenditure in the United States. LGIB is increasing in frequency and is particularly prevalent among the elderly, where polypharmacy and anticoagulants can both cause and exacerbate LGIB. The most common causes of LGIB are diverticulosis, haemorrhoids, and both benign and malignant masses. However, when occurring in the intensive care unit, more unusual causes, such as ischaemic colitis and solitary rectal ulcer, should be strongly considered.

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