Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Tests and procedures used to diagnose rectal ulcers include:

  • Sigmoidoscopy. During this test, your doctor inserts a flexible tube equipped with a lens into your rectum to examine your rectum and part of your colon. If a lesion is found, your doctor may take a tissue sample (biopsy) for laboratory testing.
  • Ultrasound. This imaging technique uses sound waves to create pictures. Your doctor may recommend an ultrasound to help differentiate solitary rectal ulcer syndrome from other conditions.
  • Imaging studies. Your doctor may recommend an imaging procedure, such as defecation proctography. This test allows the doctor to look at your rectum.

    During this procedure, your doctor inserts a soft paste made of barium into your rectum. You then pass the barium paste as you would stool. The barium shows up on X-rays and may reveal a prolapse or problems with muscle function and muscle coordination.

    Specialized centers may offer magnetic resonance defecography. This test is done on a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine and provides a 3-dimensional image of the rectum.

Aug. 18, 2015