Buttock Rectum | Gastroenterology | Hematochezia (Symptom)
Hematochezia represents the passage of red blood through the rectum. The cause is usually bleeding in the colon or rectum, but it may result from the loss of blood higher in the digestive tract. Cancer, colitis and ulcers are among causes of hematochezia.
The difference between hematochezia and rectorrhagia is that the latter rectal bleeding is not associated with defecation, Instead, it is associated with expulsion of fresh red bright blood without stools.
In adults, most common causes are hemorrhoids and diverticulosis, both of which are relatively benign. However, it can also be caused by colorectal cancer, which is potentially fatal.
In a newborn infant, hematochezia may be the result of swallowed maternal blood at the time of delivery, but can also be an initial symptom of necrotizing enterocolitis, a serious condition affecting premature infants. In babies, hematochezia in conjunction with abdominal pain is associated with intussusception.
In adolescents and young adults, inflammatory bowel disease, particularly ulcerative colitis, is a serious cause of hematochezia that must be considered and excluded.
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.