Hematochezia

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Hematochezia refers to then passage of feces that is bright red due to the presence of undigested blood, either from lower in the digestive tract, or from a more active source in the upper digestive tract. 


Some degree of rectal bleeding reported in up to 14% of individuals in the community.

Refers to the passage of fresh blood through the anus, usually in or with stools.

Commonly associated with lower gastrointestinal bleeding, but may also occur from a brisk upper gastrointestinal bleed.

Hematochezia is associated with expulsion of fresh bright red blood without stools.

The most common causes in adults, are hemorrhoids and diverticulosis.

Colon cancer is a serious and potentially fatal cause.

In a newborn infant, it may be the result of swallowed maternal blood at the time of delivery.

In a newborn infant it can also be a symptom of necrotizing enterocolitis, a serious condition affecting premature infants.

In babies, it in conjunction with abdominal pain is associated with intussusception.

In adolescents and young adults, inflammatory bowel disease, particularly ulcerative colitis, must be considered and excluded.

Hematochezia can be due to upper gastrointestinal bleeding, and it suggests a very significant bleed which is more likely to be life-threatening.

Beeturia can cause red colored feces after eating beets because of insufficient metabolism of a red pigment, and is a differential sign that may be mistaken as hematochezia.

Consumption of beets, dragon fruit, pitaya, or blackberries may also cause red or black discoloration of the stool.

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