Melanosis coli

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Black or dark brown pigmentation in the large bowel mucosa as seen by optical colonoscopy. The most common cause of melanosis coli is chronic laxative use (usually of at least several months) of anthroquinones such as those found in senna or aloe vera. It is sometimes referred to as pseudomelanosis coli in recognition of the fact that the pigmentation is not, as was first thought, due to melanin, but possibly lipofuscin or, more likely, a substance with lipofuscin-like properties.[1] There is a hypothesis that the anthroquinones cause damage to cellular organelles that are aggregated with lipofuscin deposits and drugs such as NSAIDs may be more common culprit than the typically implicated anthroquinones.[2]

It is regarded as a benign condition as the association with colorectal cancer[3] has not been borne out in other studies.[4][5][6][7]

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