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Am J Gastroenterol. 1981 Jun;75(6):440-4.

Radiation-induced recurrent intestinal pseudo-obstruction.


The syndrome of intestinal pseudo-obstruction is a complex of signs and symptoms of intestinal obstruction without evidence of mechanical obstruction of the intestinal lumen. A patient with radiation-induced intestinal pseudoobstruction is described. The patient is a 74-year old woman with a history of chronic diarrhea, recurrent episodes of crampy abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting since receiving a 13,000 rad radiation dose to the pelvis in 1954. She has been hospitalized on many occasions for symptoms and signs of bowel obstruction. Upper gastrointestinal contrast roentgenograms with small bowel follow-through done during these episodes revealed multiple dilated loops of small bowel with no obstructing lesion. Barium enemas revealed no obstructing lesion. Each episode resolved with conservative therapy. Other secondary causes for intestinal pseudo-obstruction were ruled out in our patient. She gave no history of familial gastrointestinal disorders. Although postirradiation motility abnormalities have been demonstrated experimentally this is the first report of radiation induced intestinal pseudo-obstruction.

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