Postgrad Med J 77:252-254 doi:10.1136/pmj.77.906.252
  • Original article

Proctocolitis in breast fed infants: a contribution to differential diagnosis of haematochezia in early childhood

  1. W Pumbergera,
  2. G Pombergera,
  3. W Geisslerb
  1. aDivision of Paediatric Surgery, University of Vienna, bDepartment of Paediatric Surgery, SMZO-Donauspital, Vienna
  1. Dr Wolfgang Pumberger, Division of Paediatric Surgery, University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18–20, A-1090 Vienna, Austriadr.pumberger{at}
  • Received 19 January 2000
  • Accepted 20 September 2000


Dietary protein induced proctocolitis in exclusively breast fed infants is rarely taken into consideration as a cause of rectal bleeding or blood streaked stool in the neonatal period and early infancy. Eleven babies are presented in whom it is believed that bleeding through the rectum was due to proctocolitis as a result of allergy triggered by cows' milk protein transferred to the infants via the breast milk. Colonoscopy was performed in five infants, revealing benign eosinophilic proctocolitis. Standard treatment was the exclusion of the allergen from the mother's diet. Resolution of visible rectal bleeding took place within 72 to 96 hours after elimination of the offending protein from the mother's diet.