Document Type


Publication Date



This article is the author's final published version in RadioGraphics, Vol. 41, No. 6, 2021, Pages 1632-1656.

The published version s is available at Copyright © RSNA.


Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is a common potentially life-threatening medical condition frequently requiring multidisciplinary collaboration to reach the proper diagnosis and guide management. GI bleeding can be overt (eg, visible hemorrhage such as hematemesis, hematochezia, or melena) or occult (eg, positive fecal occult blood test or iron deficiency anemia). Upper GI bleeding, which originates proximal to the ligament of Treitz, is more common than lower GI bleeding, which arises distal to the ligament of Treitz. Small bowel bleeding accounts for 5–10% of GI bleeding cases commonly manifesting as obscure GI bleeding, where the source remains unknown after complete GI tract endoscopic and imaging evaluation. CT can aid in identifying the location and cause of bleeding and is an important complementary tool to endoscopy, nuclear medicine, and angiography in evaluating patients with GI bleeding. For radiologists, interpreting CT scans in patients with GI bleeding can be challenging owing to the large number of images and the diverse potential causes of bleeding. The purpose of this pictorial review by the Society of Abdominal Radiology GI Bleeding Disease-Focused Panel is to provide a practical resource for radiologists interpreting GI bleeding CT studies that reviews the proper GI bleeding terminology, the most common causes of GI bleeding, key patient history and risk factors, the optimal CT imaging technique, and guidelines for case interpretation and illustrates many common causes of GI bleeding. A CT reporting template is included to help generate radiology reports that can add value to patient care.

PubMed ID




Included in

Radiology Commons