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Appropriate Indications for Colonoscopy

  1. Iron-deficiency anemia (malabsorption syndrome excluded)

  2. Hematochezia (without Inflammatory Bowel Disease - IBD).

  3. Uncomplicated lower abdominal pain of at least 2 months'duration, without known inflammatory bowel disease, without anemia and without Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) positive.

  4. Change in bowel habits (predominantly constipation), of at least 2 months'duration, without known inflammatory bowel disease, without anemia or FOBT-positive stools and without pain.

  5. Uncomplicated diarrhea (infectious or malabsorption origin excluded and without known IBD). No anemia. No bleeding. No radio-frequency (RF) for Colorectal (CR) cancer.

  6. Evaluation of known ulcerative colitis (UC)

  7. Evaluation of known Crohn's disease (CD)

  8. Screening for colorectal cancer in patients with known inflammatory ulcerative colitis

  9. Screening for colorectal cancer in patients with known Crohn's disease

  10. Surveillance after colonic polypectomy or curative intent resection of colorectal cancer

  11. Screening for colorectal cancer

  12. Miscellaneous indications: lesion at recent barium enema or sigmoidoscopy, preoperative colonoscopy, FOBT-positive stools, fulminant colitis, acute diverticulitis, endometriosis, unexplained weight loss


Related Criteria

Appropriate Indications for Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (UGE)

Diagnostic Criteria for Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (ZES)

Diagnostic Criteria for Autoimmune Hepatitis (AIH)

Diagnostic Criteria for Wilson's disease

Severity Criteria for Acute Pancreatitis




  1. Kaliszan B, Soule JC, Vallot T, Mignon M. Applicability and efficacy of qualifying criteria for an appropriate use of diagnostic upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. Gastroenterol Clin Biol. 2006 May;30(5):673-80. [Medline]

  2. Axon AT, Bell GD, Jones RH, Quine MA, McCloy RF. Guidelines on appropriate indications for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. Working Party of the Joint Committee of the Royal College of Physicians of London, Royal College of Surgeons of England, Royal College of Anaesthetists, Association of Surgeons, the British Society of Gastroenterology, and the Thoracic Society of Great Britain. BMJ. 1995 Apr 1;310(6983):853-6. [Medline]

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Created: May 27, 2007
Last Modified: 10/17/2010

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