Transient ischemic colitis in young adults

Am Fam Physician. 1997 Sep 15;56(4):1103-8.


Although ischemic colitis is often considered a condition of elderly persons or persons with vascular disease, it also occurs in healthy adults under age 60. While some patients may have gangrenous forms of ischemic colitis, others may have a benign, self-limited form of the disorder. In these cases, the condition is termed "transient ischemic colitis." This disorder should be included in the differential diagnosis in patients presenting with abdominal pain and hematochezia or bloody diarrhea. Estrogen or oral contraceptive therapy is associated with transient ischemic colitis, so its use should further raise suspicion. The effectiveness of discontinuation of estrogen therapy is controversial, but this measure should be considered. Conservative management includes repeated careful assessment, pain management and fluid replacement. Complications are rare and the prognosis is excellent. Occasionally, patients have recurrences.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Colitis, Ischemic* / diagnosis
  • Colitis, Ischemic* / therapy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged