gastrocolic fistula

Last reviewed 01/2018

A gastrocolic fistula is a passage between gastric epithelium and epithelium of the colon. It may be a complication of a gastric ulcer or gastroenterostomy procedure.

This condition may cause diarrhoea, weight loss, belching of fetid gas or, very rarely, vomiting of faeculant material.

Diagnosis is made primarily on the history. Barium enema may miss the majority of fistulas.

Treatment entails resection of the fistula, possibly combined with partial gastrectomy. Supportive measures must also be taken: the individual is often malnourished.