Intestinal pseudo-obstruction

Alternative Names

Primary intestinal pseudo-obstruction; Acute colonic ileus; Colonic pseudo-obstruction; Idiopathic intestinal pseudo-obstruction; Ogilvie’s syndrome; Chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction

Definition of Intestinal pseudo-obstruction

Intestinal pseudo-obstruction is a condition in which there are symptoms of intestinal blockage without any physical signs of a blockage.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

In primary intestinal pseudo-obstruction, the small or large intestines lose their ability to contract and push food, stool, and air through the gastrointestinal tract.

Signs and tests

Signs include:

Expectations (prognosis)

Most cases of acute pseudo-obstruction get better in a few days with treatment. In chronic forms of the disease, symptoms can return and worsen for many years.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 7/7/2010

Digestive system organs

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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