The role of sigmoidoscopic examination in the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of minor lower gastrointestinal bleeding was investigated. A hundred patients with minor rectal bleeding were examined by rigid sigmoidoscopy under general anaesthesia between January 1989 and July 1996.
Patients who had bleeding secondary to infections, anal fissure, or haemorrhoids were excluded from study. Patients were reviewed retrospectively according to their diagnosis and endoscopic and histopathological findings. Twenty nine of these patients were girls and 71 boys; their ages ranged between 8 month and 14 years (mean 7.2 years). Endoscopic pathological findings were established in 60 patients; 32 had rectal polyps, 16 non-specific proctitis, four solitary rectal ulcers, three internal haemorrhoids, two ulcerative colitis, two Hirschsprung’s enterocolitis, and one haemangioma.
It is concluded that sigmoidoscopic examination should be performed for the diagnosis, prognosis, and choice of treatment in patients with minor rectal bleeding and the diagnosis should be confirmed histopathologically.
The first approach to patients with rectal bleeding should be inspection and rectal digital examination
The second step should be examination of faeces
Sigmoidoscopic examination should be performed for diagnosis, prognostic evaluation, and choice of treatment in patients with persistent rectal bleeding
The diagnosis should be confirmed by histopathology
- gastrointestinal haemorrhage
- rectal bleeding
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