Published online Dec 28, 2008. doi: 10.3748/wjg.14.7302
Revised: November 11, 2008
Accepted: November 18, 2008
Published online: December 28, 2008
Ischemic colitis is the most common form of ischemic injury of the gastrointestinal tract and can present either as an occlusive or a non-occlusive form. It accounts for 1 in 1000 hospitalizations but its incidence is underestimated because it often has a mild and transient nature. The etiology of ischemic colitis is multifactorial and the clinical presentation variable. The diagnosis is based on a combination of clinical suspicion, radiographic, endoscopic and histological findings. Therapy and outcome depends on the severity of the disease. Most cases of the non-gangrenous form are transient and resolve spontaneously without complications. On the other hand, high morbidity and mortality and urgent operative intervention are the hallmarks of gangrenous ischemic colitis.