Proctitis refers to inflammation in the rectum. It may result in rectal bleeding or discharge, urgency, painful defecation, tenesmus, and crampy lower abdominal pain. The inflammation can develop as a consequence of exposure of the rectal mucosa to infectious organisms, allergens, radiation, ischaemia, and toxins, or diversion of faecal flow from the rectum (diversion proctitis). In addition, it can be the primary location of idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.
As there are many possible causes for this condition, accurate assessment and identification of the underlying cause is essential for appropriate therapy.