Gastrointestinal hemorrhage: evaluation with MDCT

Jorge A. Soto, Seong Ho Park, Joel Garland Fletcher, Jeff L. Fidler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is a common medical problem, with high associated morbidity and mortality. The clinical presentation of gastrointestinal hemorrhage varies with the location of the bleeding source, the intensity of the bleed, and the presence of comorbidities that affect the ability to tolerate blood loss. Conventional endoscopic examinations are usually the initial diagnostic tests in patients presenting with overt gastrointestinal hemorrhage. However, implementation of upper tract endoscopy and colonoscopy in the emergency setting can be challenging due to inconsistent availability of the service and difficulties in achieving adequate colonic cleansing in emergent situations. Thus, imaging tests are often relied upon to establish the location and the cause of bleeding, either for initial diagnosis or after non-revealing upper and lower tract endoscopies (“obscure” bleeding). This article discusses the imaging evaluation of patients with gastrointestinal bleeding and reviews the imaging appearance of the most common causes, taking into account the two most relevant clinical presentations: overt bleeding and obscure bleeding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)993-1009
Number of pages17
JournalAbdominal Imaging
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 31 2015


  • CT angiography
  • CT enterography
  • Gastrointestinal hemorrhage
  • Obscure bleeding
  • Overt bleeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Urology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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