What is the role of colonoscopy in the workup of pediatric gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding?

Updated: Dec 19, 2018
  • Author: Wayne Wolfram, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Robert K Minkes, MD, PhD  more...
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Answer

For lower GI bleeds, colonoscopy can reveal the source of bleeding more effectively than barium enema can, and it has 80% sensitivity.

Colonoscopy should be performed only when the patient is stable and when blood and feces will not conceal proper visualization.

Sigmoidoscopy alone has also been used in children who have had symptoms of chronic lower GI bleeding for 1 year or longer. The study reveals the most common etiologies, such as juvenile colorectal polyps and nonspecific proctitis.


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