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Chirurgia 2000 October-December;13(5-6):289-92

language: Italian

Ogilvie's syndrome. Three clinical cases

Spirito G., Spirito C., Durante V., Secondo P., Saccomani G. E., Gramegna A., Pellicci R.


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Ogilvie's syndrome is an acute massive dilatation of the large bowel without organic obstruction of the distal colon. The pathophysiology of the syndrome is still unknown. Ogilvie, who first described the situation in 1948, suggested an imbalance in neurologic control of colonic motility. The clinic and radiologic picture closely resembles mechanical obstruction of the large bowel. The most important complication is colonic perforation that can occur when the cecum reaches a diameter larger than 9 to 12 cm. If conservative management (colonoscopic decompression) fails to control the dilatation and cecal rupture is impending or suspected, emergency surgery is indicated. A survey of therapeutic approaches is made and three personal cases are presented.

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