What is the diagnosis of Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Oct 08, 2012

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Quick Bites

  • Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction is a rare disabling gastrointestinal disorder.
  • It is characterised by the abnormalities affecting the muscular contractions of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • The condition can occur at any age.
  • Clinical examination is done to diagnose the condition.

Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction is a rare disabling gastrointestinal disorder which is characterised by abnormalities affecting the involuntary, coordinated muscular contractions of the gastrointestinal tract. The digestive system under the control of nerves, pace maker cells and hormones propels the food.  The abnormalities which affect the muscles and nerves associated with peristalsis results intestinal pseudo obstruction.

Intestinal Pseudo


Causes of Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction

The condition can occur at any age but some infants are born with congenital intestinal pseudo – obstruction. It may range from moderate to acute.  The condition is often caused by problems in the nerves, muscles or interstitial cells of cajal. The interstitial cells of the Cajal convey messages from nerves to muscles.

Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction

The causes of secondary Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction include abdominal or pelvic surgery, diseases which affect muscles and nerves such as lupus erythematosus and Parkinson diseases, infections, radiations to the abdomen, certain cancers including lung cancer.


A clinical exam is done which includes medical history, imaging studies and a biopsy and blood test. The doctor will run test to confirm the diagnosis.  Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction is difficult condition to diagnose therefore the correct diagnosis may take a long time. During the physical examination the doctor will examine the person’s body by using a stethoscope to listen the bodily sounds and taps on the specific areas of the body. Tests conducted to diagnose the condition include: Abdominal x ray, upper GI series, Lower GI series, Computerised tomography scan, Upper GI endoscopy.


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