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Solitary ulcer of the rectum is usually a disease of young adults of either sex which has a characteristic appearance on sigmoidoscopy. Distinctive changes may also be seen in biopsies taken from mucosa adjacent to the ulcer.
The name `solitary ulcer' is misleading because more than one ulcer may be present. Moreover, there is a preulcerative phase which is clinically and histologically recognizable.
The condition is essentially benign and may persist for many years unchanged. It has not responded satisfactorily to medical or surgical methods of treatment.
The cause of solitary ulcer is unknown. Different views on the pathogenesis are discussed.