Chronic Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction

Kashyap V Panganamamula, Henry P Parkman
Current Treatment Options in Gastroenterology 2005, 8 (1): 3-11
Chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction (CIP) is a gastrointestinal motility disorder characterized by chronic symptoms and signs of bowel obstruction in the absence of a fixed, lumen-occluding lesion. Radiographic findings consist of dilated bowel with air-fluid levels. Pseudo-obstruction is an uncommon condition and can result from primary or secondary causes. The management is primarily focused on symptom control and nutritional support to prevent weight loss and malnutrition. The principles of management of patients with CIP involve 1) establishing a correct clinical diagnosis and excluding mechanical obstruction; 2) differentiating between idiopathic and secondary forms; 3) performing a symptomatic and physiologic assessment of the parts of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract involved by manometric and whole gut transit scintigraphic studies; 4) careful assessment of nutritional status of the patient; and 5) developing a therapeutic plan addressing the patient's symptoms and nutritional status. Treatment of CIP includes frequent small meals with a low-fat, low-fiber diet, liquid nutritional supplements may be needed; prokinetic agents such as metoclopramide may help to reduce upper GI symptoms. Trials of drugs such as erythromycin, domperidone, cisapride, and tegaserod may be considered if there is no response. Subcutaneous octreotide may be helpful to improve small bowel dysmotility especially in patients with scleroderma. In patients with symptoms suggestive of bacterial overgrowth, courses of antibiotics such as metronidazole, ciprofloxacin, and doxycycline may be needed. Nutritional assessment and support is an important aspect of management. Enteral nutrition is usually preferred. In carefully selected patients, feeding jejunostomy with or without decompression gastrostomy may be tried. Long term parenteral nutrition should be reserved for patients who can not tolerate enteral nutrition. Complications associated with total parenteral nutrition include infections, sepsis, and cholestatic hepatic dysfunction.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"