Diversional Colitis


The cells that line the colon rely on fatty acids as their food source. Fatty acids are small fragments of the fat that is present in food. When a colostomy is performed and the bowel contents come out into a bag on the abdominal wall, this food source does not reach the colon below. The bowel lining then becomes malnourished and inflamed. This is called diversion colitis because the bowel’s food supply has been diverted away from it. In this image, you see inflamed speckling of the bowel wall. This condition may cause a slight bloody drainage through the anus. It may be treated with cortisone or infusion of fatty acids by enema. It is usually not a serious disorder.