Role of Imaging for Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Authoring Organizations

Publication Month/Year

March 4, 2024

Last Updated Month/Year

March 13, 2024

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Country of Publication


Document Objectives

Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is the most common GI diagnosis leading to hospitalization within the United States. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of GI bleeding is critical to improving patient outcomes and reducing high healthcare utilization and costs. Radiologic techniques including computed tomography angiography, catheter angiography, computed tomography enterography, magnetic resonance enterography, nuclear medicine red blood cell scan, and technetium-99m pertechnetate scintigraphy (Meckel scan) are frequently used to evaluate patients with GI bleeding and are complementary to GI endoscopy. However, multiple management guidelines exist which differ in the recommended utilization of these radiologic examinations. This variability can lead to confusion as to how these tests should be used in the evaluation of GI bleeding. In this document, a panel of experts from the American College of Gastroenterology and Society of Abdominal Radiology provide a review of the radiologic examinations used to evaluate for GI bleeding including nomenclature, technique, performance, advantages, and limitations. A comparison of advantages and limitations relative to endoscopic examinations is also included. Finally, consensus statements and recommendations on technical parameters and utilization of radiologic techniques for GI bleeding are provided.

Inclusion Criteria

Male, Female, Adolescent, Adult, Child, Older adult

Health Care Settings

Hospital, Outpatient, Radiology services

Intended Users

Nurse, nurse practitioner, physician, physician assistant


Diagnosis, Assessment and screening

Diseases/Conditions (MeSH)

D006471 - Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage


Upper Gastrointestinal bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, abdominal bleeding

Source Citation

Sengupta, Neil MD1; Kastenberg, David M. MD2; Bruining, David H. MD3; Latorre, Melissa MD, MS4; Leighton, Jonathan A. MD5; Brook, Olga R. MD6; Wells, Michael L. MD7; Guglielmo, Flavius F. MD8; Naringrekar, Haresh V. MD8; Gee, Michael S. MD, PhD9; Soto, Jorge A. MD10; Park, Seong Ho MD, PhD11; Yoo, Don C. MD12; Ramalingam, Vijay MD6; Huete, Alvaro MD13; Khandelwal, Ashish MD7; Gupta, Avneesh MD10; Allen, Brian C. MD14; Anderson, Mark A. MD9; Dane, Bari R. MD15; Sokhandon, Farnoosh MD16; Grand, David J. MD12; Tse, Justin R. MD17; Fidler, Jeff L. MD7. The Role of Imaging for Gastrointestinal Bleeding: Consensus Recommendations From the American College of Gastroenterology and Society of Abdominal Radiology. The American Journal of Gastroenterology 119(3):p 438-449, March 2024. | DOI: 10.14309/ajg.0000000000002631 

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