What is the role of sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy in the workup of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Updated: Dec 30, 2019
  • Author: Mohammad F El-Baba, MD; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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Sigmoidoscopy or complete colonoscopy is useful to evaluate for inflammatory conditions such as ulcerative colitis and microscopic colitis. Severe colitis noted during colonoscopy is shown in the image below.

Pediatric irritable bowel syndrome. Severe colitis Pediatric irritable bowel syndrome. Severe colitis noted during colonoscopy. The mucosa is grossly denuded, with active bleeding observed. This patient's colon was resected very shortly after this view was obtained.

Upper endoscopy with small-intestinal biopsies is recommended in patients in whom peptic ulcer disease, Helicobacter pylori infection, Crohn disease, celiac disease, or other malabsorption conditions are suspected.

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