Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction

(Colonic Ileus; Ogilvie’s Syndrome; Acute Colonic Pseudo-obstruction; Acute Nontoxic Megacolon)


In intestinal pseudo-obstruction, foods and liquids are unable to pass through the intestine, causing a build-up of food, fluid, and gas in all or part of the colon. The symptoms of this condition act like a mechanical bowel obstruction , but no blockage is found when doctors examine the intestine.
The Intestines
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Intestinal pseudo-obstruction is caused by problems with the muscles and nerves of the intestine.

Risk Factors

The following factors are thought to increase the risk of developing intestinal pseudo-obstruction:
  • Surgery
  • Abdominal hemorrhage
  • Intestinal ischemia (insufficient blood supply to the digestive system)
  • Inflammation (eg, infection)
  • Trauma
  • Stroke
  • Metabolic problems
  • Fluid overload (eg, congestive heart failure )
  • Other medical illnesses associated with pain
  • Certain medications


Symptoms of intestinal pseudo-obstruction may include:
  • Cramps
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Reduction in bowel movements
  • Loose stools
  • Bladder problems


You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.Your body fluids may be tested. This can be done with:
  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
Images may be taken of your body structures. This can be done with:

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