Acute pseudo-obstruction of the colon (Ogilvie's syndrome): An analysis of 400 cases

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Abstract

This study analyzes 400 cases of acute pseudo-obstruction of the colon (Ogilvie's syndrome). Seven cases were reported at St. Elizabeth Hospital Medical Center between October 1982 and February 1985; 393 cases were reported in the literature from 1970-1985. Ogilvie's syndrome is most commonly reported in patients in the sixth decade, and is more predominant in men. It is caused by an unknown disturbance to the autonomic innervation of the distal colon, and is associated with different conditions. Plain abdominal roentgenogram is the most useful diagnostic test. If the cecal diameter is 12 cm or greater, or conservative management is unsuccessful, colonoscopic or operative decompression is needed. The mode of treatment, age, cecal diameter, delay in decompression, and status of the bowel significantly influence the mortality rate, which is approximately 15 percent with early appropriate management, compared with 36 to 44 percent in perforated or ischemic bowel.

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