Pigmentation in the Duodenum

Pigmentation can mean that there is a dark substance called melanin in the tissue. This is seen in the skin of African-Americans and other dark skinned individuals. Occasionally, it is seen in the intestinal tract. Here, there are scattered deposits of pigment in the duodenum of a light skinned white individual. It is assumed that this is a hereditary quirk. It is an endoscopic oddity and has no meaning nor effect on health. Pigmentation can also occur in the colon or large bowel due to prolonged use of certain laxatives. This latter condition is called melanosis coli.