Pathology of the Gastrointestinal Tract

2017 Edition
| Editors: Fátima Carneiro, Paula Chaves, Arzu Ensari

Ischemic Colitis

  • Ann DriessenEmail author
Reference work entry


Acute large bowel ischemia; Colon ischemia; Lower gastrointestinal ischemia


Ischemic colitis or lower gastrointestinal ischemia, for the first time described by Boley et al. in 1963, is a vascular condition of the lower gastrointestinal tract, in which the colon is injured due to an inadequate blood supply. The extent of damage of the colon will depend on the duration and cause of the ischemic injury, the involved blood vessel type and its localization as well as the degree of collateral blood supply. The insufficient blood supply induces an inflammation of the colon, evolving from mucosal damage to full-thickness or transmural necrosis.

The vascular supply of the colon consists of three arteries, namely, the superior mesenteric artery, distributing the ascending and the proximal two thirds of the transverse colon, the inferior mesenteric artery, nourishing the distal part of the transverse colon with the splenic flexure, descending colon and sigmoid, and the...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Brandt, L. J., & Boley, S. J. (2000). AGA technical review on intestinal ischemia. American Gastrointestinal Association. Gastroenterology, 118, 954–968.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Fenoglio-Preiser, C. M., Noffsinger, A. E., Stemmermann, G. N., Lantz, P. E., & Isaacson, P. G. (2008). Gastrointestinal pathology. An atlas and text (3rd ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
  3. Georgescu, E. F., Carstea, D., Dumitrescu, D., Teodorescu, R., & Carstea, A. (2012). Ischemic colitis and large bowel infarction: A case report. World Journal of Gastroenterology: WJG, 18, 5640–5644.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Odze, R. D., & Goldblum, J. R. (2009). Surgical pathology of the GI tract, liver, biliary tract, and pancreas (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Saunders/Elsevier.Google Scholar
  5. Theodoropoulou, A., & Koutroubakis, I. E. (2008). Ischemic colitis: clinical practice in diagnosis and treatment. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 14(48), 7302–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Vollmar, B., & Menger, M. D. (2011). Intestinal ischemia/reperfusion: Microcirculatory pathology and functional consequences. Langenbeck’s Archives of Surgery/Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur Chirurgie, 396, 13–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity Hospital AntwerpEdegemBelgium
  2. 2.Maastricht University Medical CentreMaastrichtThe Netherlands