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Ischemic colitis

  • Definition

    Ischemic colitis is a sudden swelling (inflammation) of part of the large intestine (colon) that occurs when there is a temporary loss of, or reduction in, blood flow to the colon.

    Alternative Names

    Colonic ischemia

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Ischemic colitis mainly affects people over 50. Many of them have a history of peripheral vascular disease.

    Other risk factors include:

    • Atrial fibrillation
    • Blockage of the large bowel
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
    • Congestive heart failure
    • Diabetes
    • High blood pressure
    • Irritable bowel syndrome
    • Low blood pressure
    • Past aortic surgery in which damage occurred to the artery that supplies the colon
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Use of medications that cause constipation