Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

In most cases (80%), acute lower gastrointestinal bleeding stops spontaneously, but rebleeding is frequent (25%). The intensity and quality of the bleeding--hematochezia, melena, or occult bleeding--determines the diagnostic and therapeutic strategy (endoscopic evaluation of the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract, mesenteric angiography, scintigraphy, enteroscopy, capsule endoscopy) and its urgency. Acute lower gastrointestinal bleeding can mostly be treated conservatively or by endoscopic interventions (injection therapy, clip application, coagulation and ligation methods). Severe hemorrhage can render colonoscopy and the identification of the bleeding source technically difficult. Emergency operations are only indicated when patients with severe hemorrhage cannot be stabilized by interventional endoscopy or angiography with selective embolization.

Original publication




Journal article


Der Internist

Publication Date





533 - 541


Medizinische Klinik II, Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-Universität Frankfurt/Main.


Humans, Intestinal Diseases, Acute Disease, Emergencies, Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage, Diagnosis, Differential, Hemostatic Techniques