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The pathological features depend on the severity of the ischaemia.

The affected bowel appears red or purple. It is often moist and dilated with a friable often haemorrhagic mucosa. The wall may tear easily and perforate.

In less severe lesions, there is mucosal necrosis which is reversible. The mucosa will regenerate if the blood supply can be restored.

In more severe injury, the muscularis propria is damaged. Any healing results in stricture.

Last reviewed 01/2018