Angiodysplasia of the colon: Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests

Symptoms & Signs

The symptoms vary. Often, in elderly patients, the symptoms are weakness, fatigue, and shortness of breath due to anemia. There may not be any signs of bleeding directly from the colon. Others may have occasional mild or severe bleeding episodes with bright red blood coming from the rectum.

Some patients may have dark or black, tarry stools. There is no pain associated with angiodysplasia.

Diagnosis & Tests

Tests that may be done to diagnose this condition include:

* Angiography (only useful if there is active bleeding into the colon)
* Complete blood count (CBC) to check for anemia
* Colonoscopy
* Stool guaiac test (a positive test result suggests bleeding from the colon)

Angiodysplasia of the colon: Overview, Causes

Angiodysplasia of the colon: Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests

Angiodysplasia of the colon: Treatment

Review Date : 9/1/2008
Reviewed By : Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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