Ischemic colitis: clinical practice in diagnosis and treatment

World J Gastroenterol. 2008 Dec 28;14(48):7302-8. doi: 10.3748/wjg.14.7302.


Ischemic colitis is the most common form of ischemic injury of the gastrointestinal tract and can present either as an occlusive or a non-occlusive form. It accounts for 1 in 1000 hospitalizations but its incidence is underestimated because it often has a mild and transient nature. The etiology of ischemic colitis is multifactorial and the clinical presentation variable. The diagnosis is based on a combination of clinical suspicion, radiographic, endoscopic and histological findings. Therapy and outcome depends on the severity of the disease. Most cases of the non-gangrenous form are transient and resolve spontaneously without complications. On the other hand, high morbidity and mortality and urgent operative intervention are the hallmarks of gangrenous ischemic colitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Colitis, Ischemic / diagnosis*
  • Colitis, Ischemic / etiology
  • Colitis, Ischemic / therapy*
  • Colon / diagnostic imaging
  • Colon / pathology
  • Colon / surgery
  • Colonoscopy
  • Humans
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones