Tarry or Black Stools

Abdomen | Gastroenterology | Tarry or Black Stools (Symptom)


Melena is the emission through the anus of the digested blood (black) by the gut. A melena translates into a high digestive hemorrhage, i. e. from the esophagus, stomach or duodenum.


Common causes of melena are a rupture of esophageal varices; it is also caused by portal hypertension in cirrhosis cases, and lesions favoured the taking of drugs toxic to the digestive tract (aspirin, NSAIDs), like a bleeding gastroduodenal ulcer and gastritis. A melena is manifested by black stools, greasy, with a characteristic smell disgusting. Treatment - A melena required emergency hospitalization.

Fibroscopy esogastrica often allows to determine the cause of bleeding and to determine appropriate treatment accordingly. It consists, in general in the administration of antiulcer drugs and sclerotherapy of esophageal varices bleeding or ulcers discovered. If uncontrolled or recurrent bleeding, treatment is surgery (treatment of portal hypertension, partial gastrectomy). Medication may also be due to stool black iron products are the main culprits. Black stools can be a consequence licorice or spinach, and some children who have made a habit of eating charcoal-stools can be no surprise - black.

Gastrointestinal bleeding are bleeding source whose production is in the digestive tract, they may be higher (HDS) when located lesion responsible for bleeding is to ileocecal valve and lower (HDI) when their source of production is beyond the ileocecal valve. Their way to externalize is in the form of vomiting with blood in the upper and called haematemesis or as black as oil chairs, shiny, called melena. H. D. I. is exhibited in the form of blood in the stool, which can be from red to brown or even black, confusing it with melena of HDS. Externalization mode will depend on the speed of intestinal transit, the more it will be slower, the more blood will be darker colour, as will be faster, and it will be lighter coloured.