Bloody or tarry stools

Alternative Names

Stools – bloody; Hematochezia; Melena; Stools – black or tarry

Definition of Bloody or tarry stools

Bloody stools often indicate an injury or disorder in the digestive tract. Your doctor may use the term “melena” to describe black, tarry, and foul-smelling stools or “hematochezia” to describe red- or maroon-colored stools.

Review

Jacob L. Heller, MD, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington, Clinic. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 1/11/2009

Lower digestive anatomy

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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