Angiodysplasia of the Colon
(Colonic Angiodysplasia, Arteriovenous Malformations [AVM] of the Colon)
Angiodysplasia of the colon occurs when enlarged and fragile blood vessels in the colon result in occasional bleeding in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Angiodysplasia of the colon can be caused by:
Factors that increase your risk of angiodysplasia of the colon include:
Symptoms of angiodysplasia of the colon may include:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Your bodily fluids and waste may be tested. This can be done with:
Your internal structures may need to be viewed. This can be done with:
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment may not be necessary, since about 90% of cases of angiodysplasia of the colon stop bleeding on their own. Treatment options include the following:
Your doctor can often burn tissues with heat to seal bleeding blood vessels during a colonoscopy.
The blood supply to the bleeding area can be clotted through angiography.
Hormonal therapy with estrogen can be helpful for some causes.
Surgery to remove the affected area of the colon may sometimes be necessary.
AGS Foundation for Health in Aging
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
Canadian Digestive Health Foundation
Angiodysplasia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed . Updated October 30, 2012. Accessed July 26, 2013.
American Gastroenterological Association. AGA guideline: evaluation and management of occult and obscure gastrointestinal bleeding. Gastroenterology . 2000;118:197.
Last reviewed July 2013 by Daus Mahnke, MD; Michael Woods, MD