Clin Colon Rectal Surg 2005; 18(2): 96-101
DOI: 10.1055/s-2005-870890
Copyright © 2005 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Acute Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction (Ogilvie's Syndrome)

Nell Maloney1 , H. David Vargas1 , 2
  • 1Department of Surgery, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Virginia
  • 2Tidewater Surgical Specialists, Colorectal Division, Chesapeake, Virginia
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
24 May 2005 (online)


Acute colonic pseudo-obstruction (ACPO), also known as Ogilvie's syndrome, is a condition characterized by massive colonic distension in the absence of mechanical obstruction. Patients presenting with Ogilvie's syndrome have underlying medical and surgical conditions predisposing them to the syndrome. Ogilvie's syndrome can often be managed by conservative therapy. However, unrecognized and untreated, the continued distension associated with Ogilvie's syndrome can lead to perforation that is associated with a high mortality rate. In this article, the pathophysiology, epidemiology, and treatment options are reviewed.


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H. David VargasM.D. 

Colorectal Division-Tidewater Surgical Specialists

3205 Churchland Blvd., Chesapeake, VA 23321