Adynamic Ileus and Acute Colonic Pseudo-Obstruction

      Ileus and colonic pseudo-obstruction cause functional obstruction of intestinal transit, without mechanical obstruction, because of uncoordinated or attenuated intestinal muscle contractions. Ileus usually arises from an exaggerated intestinal reaction to abdominal surgery that is often exacerbated by numerous other conditions. Colonic pseudo-obstruction is induced by numerous metabolic disorders, drugs that inhibit intestinal motility, severe illnesses, and extensive surgery. It presents with massive colonic dilatation with variable, moderate small bowel dilatation. Both conditions are initially treated with supportive measures that include intravenous rehydration, correction of electrolyte abnormalities, discontinuation of antikinetic drugs, and treatment of other contributing disorders. Specific therapies for colonic pseudo-obstruction include neostigmine (an anticholinesterase) for pharmacologic colonic decompression and colonoscopic decompression.
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