June 1984

Massive Rectal Bleeding From Colonic Fistula in Pancreatitis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC.

Arch Surg. 1984;119(6):732-735. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1984.01390180094016

• Two cases of massive hematochezia from pancreatitis-associated colonic fistulae occurred. Diagnosis was made by arteriography; prompt surgical intervention ensued and both patients recovered. This rare complication of pancreatitis should be considered in every patient with rectal bleeding and a history consistent with pancreatitis, especially when an abdominal mass is present. Contrast enema examinations may help to make the diagnosis, but visceral arteriography is preferred because it defines the source of bleeding and guides the operative plan. The minimal surgical treatment consists of ligating bleeding vessels, debriding necrotic tissue, widely draining the peripancreatic space, and creating a totally diverting colostomy. All involved organs should be resected when technically feasible, since this eliminates abnormal tissue and minimizes the chances that hemorrhage will occur.

(Arch Surg 1984;119:732-735)