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Have GI bleed, done standard tests. Any new tests?

My mother has been experiencing GI bleeds for the last 17 years; for the last 50 days she has received 15 units of blood and the doctors have performed all of the standard tests that are known to Dr.s getting as far as 12 feet of her lower intestine (camera included going further but still no findings) and they can not find the bleed. Are there any new (even experimental) test/developments that have come out in the last 5 years that someone can recommend. This is the worst that she has ever been. Please any suggestions are welcome.
Asked On : Tue, 2 Oct 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  27
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Gastroenterologist 's  Response
Hello, mslora710,
I am assuming that your mother is probably over 45-50 yrs. of age.
17 years of recurrent GI bleeds with no diagnosis is not acceptable
at this day and age. awe do have a lot of tests now that we did not
have a short few years ago. I am sure your mother has had several
upper endoscopies to check for bleeding sources and also has had
few colonoscopies by experts.Unless the bleeding is active at the
time of exam , it is possible to miss the source.
Some of the most common causes are abnormal blood vessels
called Angiodysplasia which can be present any where in the entire
gastro-intestinal tract .The bleeding scans, angiograms, injecting the dye
into the blood vessel may find the site of bleeding.
Latest technology is the "Capsule Endoscopy " where a person swallows
a capsule which has photographic capabilities and a transmitter which
can capture hundreds of pictures which are downloaded to a computer
and analyzed.
There are some limitations as well with this procedure and some
Som of the other conditions diagnosed with this include Crohn's
disease, small bowel tumors including cancer and lymphomas.
Hope you can discuss this with your doctor.
Wish her well.
Answered: Wed, 3 Oct 2012
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