Which physical findings suggest inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

Updated: Jan 04, 2019
  • Author: David A Piccoli, MD; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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IBD may present with pallor, tachycardia, abdominal tenderness, and blood in the stool. An elevated temperature, weight loss, and dehydration may be noted. The presence of abdominal distention with decreased or absent bowel sounds is indicative of actual or impending obstruction or perforation. Rarely, CD causes intestinal obstruction. Toxic megacolon is a life-threatening complication of UC and CD. Toxic megacolon almost always involves the transverse colon and may present with ileus, peritonitis secondary to perforation, and sepsis. It is a medical and surgical emergency.

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