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March 6, 1978

Vascular Ectasias of the Right Colon

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Radiology (Dr Sprayregen) and Surgery (Dr Boley), Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center—Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY.

JAMA. 1978;239(10):962-964. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280370058029

VASCULAR ectasias of the right side of the colon (also referred to as angiodysplasias, arteriovenous malformations, and angiomas), are being recognized with increasing frequency as a cause of lower intestinal tract bleeding in the elderly.1,2 In a recent review of the experience at Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center, New York, from 1971 through 1976, ectasias and diverticulosis were the commonest causes of lower intestinal hemorrhage in patients older than 65 years of age and were approximately equal in number. Clinically, patients with symptomatic ectasias usually present with multiple episodes of acute lower intestinal hemorrhage, which may appear as bright red or maroon bleeding or as melena. Less commonly, ectasias produce chronic blood loss and anemia requiring blood transfusions. Characteristically, colonic ectasias (1) occur mostly in patients older than 60 years of age, (2) are not associated with angiomatous lesions of the skin or other viscera, (3) almost always occur