What turned this patient's stool silver?

An elderly patient presented to ED with a two-week history of dizziness and 'unusually coloured stool'

It’s not unusual for stool to come out in a range of colours other than brown.

Yellow could indicate coeliac disease, whereas red is suggestive of cancer or colitis.

But doctors in the US received a shock when they treated a woman whose faeces were a shade missing from the standard stool colour chart — a metallic silver.

The 69-year-old patient with metastatic colon cancer was admitted to ED with a two-week history of dizziness and “unusually coloured stool”.

The patient’s clinicians said the physical examination was notable for jaundice, hepatomegaly and a diffusely tender abdomen.

A rectal examination showed silver-coloured stool (panel A).


Read more: Australia tops seven countries for colorectal cancer survival

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