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December 1957

Ulceration of the Rectum and Terminal Portion of the Colon: Significance in Absence of Malignant Disease and Chronic Ulcerative Colitis

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn.
Section of Proctology, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation. The Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn., is a part of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota.

AMA Arch Surg. 1957;75(6):1029-1035. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1957.01280180161026

The physician who makes many proctosigmoidoscopic examinations often encounters some form of ulceration of the rectum or terminal portion of the colon. In my practice the commonest causes of serious ulceration are malignant disease and chronic ulcerative colitis. Numerous other conditions, however, may result in the formation of ulcers or in a diffuse ulcerative process in the region. Many of these conditions are uncommon, some extremely so. Also, except from the standpoint of differential diagnosis, some of them are not significant.

The Search for the Cause  In the attempt to ascertain the causes of ulcerative processes of the rectum or sigmoid portion of the colon, thorough taking of the history is of primary importance. Often the patient will neglect to mention important facts, either because he has forgotten them or because he is not aware of their significance. Although the history of the present illness is always important, it may