Angiodysplasia of the Colon

(Colonic Angiodysplasia, Arteriovenous Malformations [AVM] of the Colon)

Definition

Angiodysplasia of the colon occurs when blood vessels in the colon enlarge. They may become fragile and result in occasional bleeding in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Normal Anatomy of the Intestines
Normal Anatomy of the Large and Small Intestine
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

Angiodysplasia of the colon is caused by dilated connections between veins and capillaries or arteries in the large intestine (colon).

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your risk of angiodysplasia of the colon include:
  • Increasing age
  • Excessive or abnormal contractions of the colon
  • Injury to the GI tract
  • Heart problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Lung problems
  • von Willebrand's disease—a disorder of the blood
  • Blood vessel problems

Symptoms

Symptoms of angiodysplasia of the colon may include:
  • Dark, tarry stools
  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Anemia
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath

Diagnosis

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:
  • Blood tests
  • Stool tests
Your internal structures may need to be viewed. This can be done with:

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