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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Suggest treatment for stool discoloration after CAT scan

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Dr. Sudhir

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2000

Answered : 1417 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 25 Aug 2014 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: Dear Doctor,
I just had a cat scan for diverticulitis. The report was "negative." A week later I'm still having stool that is light brown on one side and dark brown on the other side (This was not the case before the cat scan.) --- why would this be? There has been no blood and a "negative" test for stool blood about a year ago. Would a cat scan pick up other things than just diverticulitis? I also had a colonoscopy six years ago that was also "negative." I'm 82 years old and my doctor told me that colonoscopies were dangerous at my age because my organs are so fragile. I took BaSO4 by mouth only for the test. Thank you.
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Answered by Dr. Sudhir 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Looks like bleed from mid intestine.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

I will answer your queries one by one-

1.Brown discoloration is due to altered blood in stools may be from upper or mid intestine.For this a repeat stool analysis should be performed.Also if stool analysis shows blood , then nuclear scan can be undertaken to see minor bleed.Nuclear scan uses tagged RBC to detect and localise site of bleed.

2.CAT scan wont cause this discoloration of stools.CAT scan pick up mass, wall thickening, strictures, adhesions, polyps and cancers of intestine.If conventionation colonoscopy is not possible , one can go for virtual colonoscopy, it's a modified CAT scan where thin images of intestine are acquired and entire intenstine is reconstructed in form of images.Even this recently performed CAT scan images can be proccessed to create images of virtual colonoscopy.You will have to check with diagnostic centre if scan was done that way.

3.On regular CAT scan small intestine may not get well evaluated, so a tailored study like enteroclysis study can be undertaken.

4.So step wise investigations would be stool analysis, then nuclear study to locate site of bleed, then modified CAT scan to look in the region of bleed.Investigations are to be undertaken if there is bleed.

5.Other approach is - wait and watch.Take treatment for diverticulitis and see if this resolves.If not, then go for investigations.

Hope this answers your queries.Please ask if there are doubts.Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Bhagyalaxmi Nalaparaju
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