Occult blood

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Luke Rusowicz-Orazem, B.S.


Occult blood is blood in the feces in amounts that cannot be seen by the eye however it can be detected through tests.


Life Threatening Causes

Common Causes

Causes by Organ System

Cardiovascular Angiodysplasia of the colon, Arteriovenous malformation, Gastric antral vascular ectasia, Malignant atrophic papulosis, Portal hypertension, Vascular ectasia
Chemical/Poisoning No underlying causes
Dental No underlying causes
Dermatologic Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia
Drug Side Effect Nsaids
Ear Nose Throat No underlying causes
Endocrine Amyloidosis
Environmental No underlying causes
Gastroenterologic Anal fissures , Angiodysplasia of the colon, Angioectasia, Aortoenteric fistula, Cameron lesions, Celiac sprue, Colon polyps, Crohn's disease, Dieulafoy lesions, Diverticula, Duodenal ulcer, Erosive gastritis, Esophageal varices, Gastric antral vascular ectasia, Gastric carcinoma, Gastric ulcer, Gastrointestinal trauma, Gastrointestinal tumor, Hemorrhoids , Hiatal hernia, Inflammatory bowel disease, Intestinal polyposis, Meckel’s diverticulum, Oropharyngeal, Plummer-vinson syndrome, Reflux esophagitis, Small bowel varices, Ulcerative colitis, Vascular ectasia, Whipple disease
Genetic Ehlers-danlos syndrome, Meckel’s diverticulum, Pseudoxanthoma elasticum
Hematologic Epistaxis, Hemangiomas, Hematobilia, Hemoptysis, Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia , Plummer-vinson syndrome
Iatrogenic Gm-csf therapy
Infectious Disease Amebiasis, Ascariasis, Hemosuccus entericus, Hookworm, Kaposi sarcoma , Strongyloidiasis, Tuberculous enterocolitis
Musculoskeletal/Orthopedic No underlying causes
Neurologic No underlying causes
Nutritional/Metabolic No underlying causes
Obstetric/Gynecologic No underlying causes
Oncologic Blue rubber bleb nevus syndrome, Carcinoma , Colon polyps, Gastric carcinoma, Gastrointestinal tumor, Hemangiomas, Inherited polyposis syndromes , Kaposi sarcoma , Mass lesions, Neoplasia
Ophthalmologic No underlying causes
Overdose/Toxicity No underlying causes
Psychiatric Factitious
Pulmonary Hemoptysis, Loeffler's syndrome, Tuberculous enterocolitis
Renal/Electrolyte No underlying causes
Rheumatology/Immunology/Allergy Amyloidosis, Celiac sprue, Crohn's disease
Sexual No underlying causes
Trauma Anal fissures , Cameron lesions, Dieulafoy lesions, Fissures, Gastrointestinal trauma, Hemorrhoids , Hiatal hernia, Prolonged running, Ulcers
Urologic No underlying causes
Miscellaneous Idiopathic cecal ulcer

Causes in Alphabetical Order

Related Chapters

Gastrointestinal bleeding


  1. Sailer, Christian, Wasner, Susanne. Differential Diagnosis Pocket. Hermosa Beach, CA: Borm Bruckmeir Publishing LLC, 2002:77 ISBN 1591032016
  2. Kahan, Scott, Smith, Ellen G. In A Page: Signs and Symptoms. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing, 2004:68 ISBN 140510368X