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Fecal Occult Blood Testing

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Causes of Occult GI Bleeding

Slide 7

October 2011

Based on aggregate data from recent reports, the majority of pathologic occult GI bleeding arises from the upper GI tract….nearly twice as often as from the lower GI tract. Any lesion that involves vascular disruption can bleed, and the potential specific causes of occult bleeding are legion. By general category, these can be inflammatory (the most common cause of iron deficiency anemia in adults is peptic ulcer or erosive disease), traumatic (which may account for up to 10% of iron deficiency in older adults, primarily from large hiatal hernias). The picture here shows linear erosions caused by respiratory or diaphragmatic trauma within a hiatal hernia, vascular (there are many types of vascular malformations, and they are often multiple), and finally, neoplastic (cancers invade mucosal vessels and cause bleeding, such as might occur with this colorectal cancer shown in the image).

Causes of Occult GI Bleeding


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