What percentage of significant lower gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is caused by diverticulosis?

Updated: Jul 26, 2019
  • Author: Burt Cagir, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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The leading causes of significant LGIB are diverticulosis and angiodysplasia. [6, 10] Colonic diverticular disease is the most common cause of LGIB. [23] Diverticulosis accounts for around 30%-50% of the cases of hemodynamically significant LGIB, whereas angiodysplasia accounts for about 20%-30% of cases. LGIB is more common in the elderly than in younger people, because diverticulosis and vascular disease are more common in these groups. Some experts believe that angiodysplasia is the most frequent cause of LGIB in patients older than 65 years.

Hemorrhoids are the most common cause of LGIB in patients younger than 50 years, but the bleeding is usually minor and it is rarely the cause of significant LGIB. According to a review of seven series of patients with LGIB, the most common cause of LGIB was diverticulosis, accounting for approximately 33% of cases, followed by cancer and polyps, which accounted for about 19% of cases. [24]

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