World Journal of Surgery

, 35:2549 | Cite as

Ischemic Colitis: Clinical Presentation, Localization in Relation to Risk Factors, and Long-Term Results

  • Philippe M. Glauser
  • Petra Wermuth
  • Gieri Cathomas
  • Evelyn Kuhnt
  • Samuel A. Käser
  • Christoph A. MaurerEmail author



Ischemic colitis is commonly thought to occur most often in the left hemicolon close to the splenic flexure owing to insufficient blood supply near Griffith’s point. This study investigates the colorectal localization pattern, the risk factors, and the long-term outcome of histologically proven ischemic colitis.


Between 1996 and 2004, a total of 49 patients with a median age of 69 years (range 26–94 years) with colonoscopically assessed and histologically proven ischemic colitis were identified on behalf of the pathology database. Long-term results of 43 patients were evaluated retrospectively after a median interval of 79 months (range 6–163 months).


In 27 patients (55%) more than one location was affected. We found 98 affected locations in 49 patients. The distribution of ischemic colitis in our group shows no significantly preferred location. In an exploratory analysis, the cecum, ascending colon, and right flexure were affected significantly more often if intake of a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) is documented. There was no association between the location of ischemic colitis and a history of smoking, peripheral artery occlusive disease, coronary heart disease, diabetes, or malignant tumor.


Ischemic colitis seems not to have a predisposing site of occurrence in the colorectum, especially Griffith’s point which was not afflicted significantly more often than other sites. Frequently, ischemic colitis afflicts more than one colonic location. In patients being treated with NSAIDs, ischemic colitis was observed significantly more often in the right hemicolon. Recurrence of ischemic colitis seems to be rare.


Coronary Heart Disease Inflammatory Bowel Disease Amyloidosis Splenic Flexure Inferior Mesenteric Artery 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Conflicts of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philippe M. Glauser
    • 1
  • Petra Wermuth
    • 1
  • Gieri Cathomas
    • 2
  • Evelyn Kuhnt
    • 3
  • Samuel A. Käser
    • 1
  • Christoph A. Maurer
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryHospital of Liestal (affiliated with the University of Basel)LiestalSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute of PathologyHospital of LiestalLiestalSwitzerland
  3. 3.Clinical Trial Center, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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