[Chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction: pathogenesis, diagnosis and therapy]

J Keller, P Layer
Zeitschrift Für Gastroenterologie 2002, 40 (2): 85-95
Chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction (CIPO) is a rare disease in which a severe intestinal motility disorder impairs transit of chyme so that patients suffer from symptoms of a mechanical ileus without mechanical obstruction. CIPO may be a primary or secondary disorder due to muscular, neurologic, metabolic or endocrine disorders, but may also occur postinfectiously, postoperatively, following abdominal radiation or be caused by drugs or noxae. In severe cases, the typical history of (repeated) symptoms of mechanical obstruction leading to unsuccessful laparotomies will give key clues for diagnosis. If CIPO is suspected, mechanical obstruction must be searched for carefully by radiologic and endoscopic examinations. Histologic diagnosis usually demands full thickness biopsies of the intestinal wall. Small intestinal manometry allows diagnosis of CIPO even during oligosymptomatic intervals as well as differentiation between neuropathic and myopathic forms of the disease. The main therapeutic goals consist in: 1. Maintenance of an adequate nutritional state by oral and/or enteral nutrition; in severe cases home-parenteral nutrition may be required and particularly in children intestinal transplantation may be the ultima ratio. 2. Reconstitution of intestinal propulsion by prokinetic drugs. 3. Therapy of complications such as bacterial overgrowth and severe pain by antibiotics and specific surgical procedures. Unnecessary laparotomies should be strictly avoided because they may lead to adhesions and markedly complicate the clinical course.

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