Intestinal pseudo-obstruction is a condition in which there are symptoms of blockage of the intestine (bowels) without any physical blockage.
Primary intestinal pseudo-obstruction; Acute colonic ileus; Colonic pseudo-obstruction; Idiopathic intestinal pseudo-obstruction; Ogilvie syndrome; Chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction; Paralytic ileus - pseudo-obstruction
In intestinal pseudo-obstruction, the intestine is unable to contract and push food, stool, and air through the digestive tract. The disorder most often affects the small intestine, but can also occur in the large intestine.
The condition may start suddenly or be a chronic or long-term problem. It is most common in children and older people. The cause of the problem is often unknown.
Risk factors include:
Exams and Tests
During a physical exam, the health care provider will most often see abdominal bloating.
The following treatments may be tried:
In severe cases, surgery may be needed.
Most cases of acute pseudo-obstruction get better in a few days with treatment. In chronic forms of the disease, symptoms can come back and get worse over many years.
Complications may include:
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your provider if you have abdominal pain that does not go away or other symptoms of this disorder.
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Review Date: 5/11/2016
Reviewed By: Subodh K. Lal, MD, gastroenterologist with Gastrointestinal Specialists of Georgia, Austell, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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