Clinical Features and Colonic Motor Disturbances in Chronic Megacolon in Adults

Ralph Hurley O'Dwyer, Andrés Acosta, Michael Camilleri, Duane Burton, Irene Busciglio, Adil E Bharucha
Digestive Diseases and Sciences 2015, 60 (8): 2398-407

BACKGROUND: Chronic megacolon is a rare disease of the colonic motor function characterized by a permanent increase in colonic diameter.

METHODS: We reviewed electronic medical records of all patients diagnosed with chronic megacolon from 1999 to 2014 at Mayo Clinic. Our aim was to summarize clinical and motility features, including colonic compliance and tone measured by colonic barostat-controlled 10-cm-long infinitely compliant balloon. Colonic compliance curves were compared to healthy control (40) and disease (47) control groups.

RESULTS: Among 24 identified patients, the mean maximal colonic diameter on abdominal radiograph was 12.7 ± 0.8 cm. The cause of megacolon was idiopathic in 16 of 24 and secondary in 8 of 24. A relatively high prevalence (10/24) of comorbid pelvic floor dyssynergia was identified. At the time of this report, 16 patients had undergone colectomy. In general, megacolon presented high fasting colonic volume at relatively low pressures (16-20 mmHg), suggesting high colonic compliance; similarly, volumes at operating pressures that ensured apposition of the balloon to the colonic wall suggested low colonic tone. Median balloon volume at 44 mmHg distension was 584 mL (IQR 556.5-600) in patients with megacolon compared to 251 mL (212-281) in healthy, 240 mL (207-286) in functional constipation, and 241 mL (210.8-277.5) in diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome controls. Colon's tonic response to feeding was generally intact, and there was frequently maintained phasic contractile response to feeding.

CONCLUSIONS: Chronic megacolon is a severe colonic dysmotility, manifesting radiologically with increased colonic diameter; it can be proven by measuring colonic compliance and typically requires colectomy because of failed medical therapy.

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"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.