Enteral nutrition for severe malnutrition in chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction

Jaya Benjamin, Namrata Singh, Govind K Makharia
Nutrition 2010, 26 (5): 502-5

OBJECTIVE: Chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction (CIPO) is a rare intestinal motility disorder. A prolonged avoidance of food due to fear of aggravation of postprandial symptoms leads to severe malnutrition. We report a case of a 21 y old man who was diagnosed as CIPO with a history of recurrent intestinal colic and obstructive symptoms, slow transit type of constipation, bilateral hydronephrosis (non-obstructive), motor dysphagia without any evidence of demonstrable mechanical obstruction. Our aim was to keep his post prandial symptoms to a minimum and nutritionally build him up with enteral nutrition (EN).

METHODS: He had life threatening malnutrition (BMI of 11 kg/m(2)) and significant postprandial distension with an intake more than 100 ml, compromising the quality of life. In view of a normal absorptive function of the gut, TPN was ruled out and the patient was treated with enteral nutrition (oral & tube) only. The EN regimen followed was ad libitum oral intake along with nocturnal NG tube feeding. Initially a full strength semi-elemental formula at 50 ml/hour was given, later shifted to polymeric formula at 100 ml/hour. Serum levels of magnesium, phosphate and potassium were regularly monitored to prevent refeeding syndrome. He ws constantly motivated, counseled and monitored.

RESULT: With a gradual increase in the intake from 300 Kcal to 1400 Kcal he was discharged. Eight months from discharge he had a weight of 58 kg (BMI = 22.3 kg/m(2)), with resumption of normal activities and marked improvement in the quality of life.

CONCLUSION: Carefully planned EN along with motivation, psychological support and regular monitoring are the keys to nutritional management in CIPO.

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