Cocaine-Associated Ischemic Colitis

Jeffrey D. Linder, Klaus E. Mönkemüller, Isaac Raijman, Lawrence Johnson, Audrey J. Lazenby, C. Mel Wilcox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Cocaine use can result in various gastrointestinal complications, including gastric ulcerations, retroperitoneal fibrosis, visceral infarction, intestinal ischemia, and gastrointestinal tract perforation. We report cocaine-associated colonic ischemia in three patients and review the literature. Including ours, 28 cases have been reported, with a mean patient age of 32.6 years (range, 23 to 47 years); 53.5% were men and 46.5% were women. The interval between drug ingestion and onset of symptoms varied from 1 hour to 2 days. Cocaine is a potentially life-threatening cause of ischemic colitis and should be included in the differential diagnosis of any young adult or middle-aged patient with abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea, especially in the absence of estrogen use or systemic disorders that can cause thromboembolic events, such as atrial fibrillation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)909-913
Number of pages5
JournalSouthern Medical Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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