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Copyright ©2008 The WJG Press and Baishideng. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Dec 28, 2008; 14(48): 7302-7308
Published online Dec 28, 2008. doi: 10.3748/wjg.14.7302
Ischemic colitis: Clinical practice in diagnosis and treatment
Αngeliki Theodoropoulou, Ioannis E Κoutroubakis
Αngeliki Theodoropoulou, Gastroenterology Unit Veni-zelion General Hospital of Heraklion, Heraklion 71110, Crete, Greece
Ioannis E Κoutroubakis, Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital Heraklion, Heraklion 71110, Crete, Greece
Author contributions: Theodoropoulou A reviewed the literature and wrote the first draft of the paper; Koutroubakis IE contributed to providing the idea and performing the review and editing of the manuscript.
Correspondence to: Ioannis E Κoutroubakis, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Gastro-enterology, University Hospital Heraklion, PO Box 1352, Heraklion 71110, Crete, Greece.
Telephone: +30-28-10392253 Fax: +30-28-10542085
Received: October 28, 2008
Revised: November 11, 2008
Accepted: November 18, 2008
Published online: December 28, 2008

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.

Keywords: Colon ischemia, Intestinal blood flow, Ischemic colitis, Thrombosis