What should be the focus of medical history in the evaluation of lower gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding?

Updated: Jul 26, 2019
  • Author: Burt Cagir, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

A detailed history and physical examination are essential parts of an initial evaluation of lower gastrointestinal bleeding (LGIB). These can provide valuable clues to the etiology and anatomic source of the bleeding. Document whether this is a first or recurrent episode of GI bleeding as well as any significant medical history (including peptic ulcer disease, liver disease, cirrhosis, coagulopathy, inflammatory bowel disease [IBD]) and previous medication use (eg, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs] and/or warfarin). In patients with cancer, the history of radiation, chemotherapy, or both should be considered.


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