Ischemic colitis


Because the symptoms of ischemic colitis are common and generic, healthcare providers may need to rule out a number of other probable reasons before reaching a diagnosis. It is frequently confused with other illnesses, particularly inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The following tests may be required to diagnose ischemic colitis:

  • Abdominal  computed tomography (CT) scans: is performed to help rule out other medical conditions including IBD. This procedure provides photos of the colon necessary for analysis.
  • Colonoscopy: In colonoscopy imaging, ischemic colitis exhibits different features. It generates comprehensive images of the colon which can aid in the diagnosis of ischemic colitis. Colonoscopy can also be performed to screen for cancer and assess how well a treatment worked. Tissue samples can be taken through colonoscope.
  • Stool analysis: to check for blood and screen out infection that may be causing the symptom.
  • Blood test: A sample of the blood may be taken to screen for infections or other factors. Colitis in general may manifest as an elevated white blood cell count in a blood test.


The course of treatment for ischemic colitis will depend on the severity of the condition and whether there are any complications present, such as an infection in the abdominal cavity. If the case is severe or complicated, emergency surgery may be necessary.

Medical management is the primary course of treatment for most cases. The healthcare provider may administer intravenous fluids and broad-spectrum antibiotics to prevent or treat infections. Oxygen therapy may be necessary to boost cardiac output and enhance blood flow. Any medications that aggravate ischemic colitis will be discontinued by the healthcare provider. Bowel rest is recommended, which involves abstaining from using the digestive system to promote healing. A liquid diet or intravenous nutrition may be prescribed.

There are several possible methods of treatment for ischemic colitis, including:

  • Nasogastric (NG) tube: The use of a nasogastric tube to decompress the stomach. This may be necessary if part of the colon has become paralyzed.
  • Treatment of blood vessels: Depending on the cause of the condition, a healthcare provider may need to surgically remove a blockage in an artery or use techniques to dissolve a blood clot or place a stent in a narrowed blood vessel.
  • Colectomy: In cases where there is tissue death or rupture in the colon wall, it may be necessary to remove the affected portion of the colon. This may involve a temporary or permanent colostomy.