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Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

Print version ISSN 1130-0108


MUNOZ-YAGUE, M. T. et al. Chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction: a diagnosis to be considered. Rev. esp. enferm. dig. [online]. 2009, vol.101, n.5, pp.336-342. ISSN 1130-0108.

Chronic intestinal pseudoobstruction (CIPO) is a rare entity characterized by recurrent clinical episodes of intestinal obstruction in which no mechanical cause is identified. There are multiple causes for this syndrome but two main groups can be distinguished: a) secondary to a systemic non-gastrointestinal disease; and b) primary or idiopathic originated from alterations in the components of the intestinal wall. The latter forms are the most uncommon and their diagnosis is generally difficult. In the present article, we describe nine patients with CIPO that were diagnosed in our center over the last six years. Four of them were diagnosed with primary or idiopathic form of CIPO and another four were clearly secondary to a systemic disease. The ninth case, which was initially diagnosed as secondary, is probably also a primary form of the disease. The number of patients diagnosed in our center, even thought small, makes us to hypothesize that the prevalence of CIPO is probably greater than is generally believed and that the reasons of its rarity are the incomplete understanding of its physiopathology and the difficulties to achieve a correct diagnosis.

Keywords : Diagnosis; Intestinal pseudo-obstruction; Scleroderma; Pheochromocytoma; Radiculopathy; Deficit of alpha actin.

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