Ogilvie's syndrome

What is Ogilvie's Syndrome?

Ogilvie's Syndrome, also known as acute colonic pseudo-obstruction, is a rare medical condition where the large intestine (colon) becomes horrifyingly distended and filled with gas due to a reduced or absent activity of normal intestinal peristalsis. It is thought to be caused by a sudden change in normal intestinal functioning, which can be caused by drugs, medical conditions, or other unknown causes. In most cases, Ogilvie's Syndrome resolves on its own in a few days.

Symptoms of Ogilvie's Syndrome

The most common symptoms of Ogilvie's Syndrome include abdominal distention, cramps, and pain. Additionally, the patient may experience nausea, weight loss, and loss of appetite. If the syndrome is severe, the patient may have a fever.

Risk Factors for Ogilvie's Syndrome

There are certain risk factors that can increase the chances of developing Ogilvie's Syndrome. These risk factors include:

  • Severe pain that causes a change in normal intestinal functioning
  • Recent surgery
  • Presence of infections or other medical conditions that affect the intestines
  • Certain medications, such as opiates, calcium channel blockers, and anti-depressants
  • Hypokalemia (low levels of potassium in the blood)

Diagnosing Ogilvie's Syndrome

Diagnosis of Ogilvie's Syndrome is typically done through a physical examination and an X-ray or CT scan of the abdomen. Blood tests may also be done to rule out any other possible causes of the symptoms.

Treatment for Ogilvie's Syndrome

The main goal of treatment for Ogilvie's Syndrome is to reduce the abdominal distension and relieve the other symptoms. Treatment typically involves bowel rest and hydration. Medications, such as prokinetics, may be used to help stimulate intestinal contractions and reduce abdominal distension. If the condition does not improve, a colonoscopy may be required to rule out any other possible causes of the symptoms.