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January 1959

Leukemic Infiltration of Colon: An Unusual Cause for Massive Melena

Author Affiliations

Galveston, Texas
From Department of Surgery, University of Texas, Medical Branch.

AMA Arch Surg. 1959;78(1):71-74. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1959.04320010075012

Leukemic infiltration of tissues of the body may occur late in the course of leukemia and result in bleeding from the gums or the gastrointestinal tract, or purpura. The bleeding is frequently a result of secondary thrombocytopenia. However, it is unusual for leukemic infiltration of the colon to produce massive melena. The purpose of this paper is to report a case in which massive melena resulted from leukemic infiltration of the colon.

Leukemia as a cause of massive melena has been reported only rarely in the literature. Thompson and McGuffin5 made a detailed study of a large series of patients with melena. Of the 293 cases studied, none had melena secondary to leukemia. Rives and Emmett4 reviewed 129 cases of massive melena and found 1 case in which the cause was leukemia. Waterson6 reviewed 170 cases of hematemesis and melena and found 1 case which was due