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Angiodysplasia of the Colon

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Angiodysplasia of the Colon

(Colonic Angiodysplasia, Arteriovenous Malformations [AVM] of the Colon)


Angiodysplasia of the colon is when blood vessels in the colon (large intestine) enlarge. They may become weak and lead to bleeding in the digestive system.

Treatment can improve outcomes.

Normal Anatomy of the Intestines.

Normal Anatomy of the Large and Small Intestinehttp://services.epnet.com/getimage.aspx?imageiid=28472847exh5601.jpgNormal Anatomy of the Large and Small IntestineNULLjpgNormal Anatomy of the Large and Small IntestineNULL\\filer01\Intellect\images\exh5601.jpgCopyright © 2002 Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.17NULL2002-10-012914592847_179667275400Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


The exact cause of angiodysplasia of the colon is not known. It may be part of the aging process.

Risk Factors

This problem is more common in adults over 50. Other things that may raise the risk are:


Symptoms of angiodysplasia of the colon may be:

  • Dark, tarry stools (poop)
  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Weakness
  • Tiredness
  • Problems breathing


The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done.

Blood and stool may be tested.

Images of internal structures may be taken with:

These tests will be used to help make the diagnosis.


Treatment may not be needed. The problem often goes away on its own. People who do need treatment may have:

  • A colonoscopy that uses heat to seal bleeding blood vessels
  • Angiography to clot the blood supply to the bleeding
  • Medicines to prevent bleeding
  • Surgery to remove part of the colon—if bleeding is life-threatening


There are no current guidelines to prevent angiodysplasia of the colon.





  • Angiodysplasia of the GI tract. American College of Gastroenterology website. Available at: https://gi.org/topics/angiodysplasia-of-the-gi-tract.
  • Gastrointestinal angiodysplasia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/gastrointestinal-angiodysplasia.
  • Jackson CS, Strong R. Gastrointestinal angiodysplasia: diagnosis and management. Gastrointest Endosc Clin N Am. 2017;27(1):51-62.


  • Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.