Ischemic colitis laboratory findings

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Hamid Qazi, MD, BSc [2]


There are no specific blood tests for ischemic colitis, but an elevated white blood cell count may be present. Other laboratory findings in ischemic colitis include electrolyte and renal abnormalities secondary to dehydration, metabolic acidosis, and lactate level may be elevated due to any tissue hypoxia.

Laboratory Findings

The laboratory findings for ischemic colitis are as follows:[1] [2][3]

  • Mild leukocytosis with a left shift.
  • Electrolyte and renal abnormalities secondary to dehydration
  • Metabolic acidosis may be present.
  • Lactate level may be elevated due to any tissue hypoxia
    • Sensitivity of 82% and a specificity of 87% in predicting early colonic ischemia.
  • The sensitivity of tests among 73 patients were:


  1. Sun, Mark; Maykel, Justin (2007). "Ischemic Colitis". Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery. 20 (1): 005–012. ISSN 1531-0043. doi:10.1055/s-2007-970194. 
  2. Huguier, Michel; Barrier, Alain; Boelle, Pierre Y.; Houry, Sydney; Lacaine, Francois (2006). "Ischemic colitis". The American Journal of Surgery. 192 (5): 679–684. ISSN 0002-9610. doi:10.1016/j.amjsurg.2005.09.018. 
  3. Murray MJ, Gonze MD, Nowak LR, Cobb CF (1994). "Serum D(-)-lactate levels as an aid to diagnosing acute intestinal ischemia.". Am J Surg. 167 (6): 575–8. PMID 8209931.