Chronic Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction
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NORD is very grateful to Edy E. Soffer, MD, Center for Digestive Diseases, GI Motility Program, Department of Gastroenterology, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, for the assistance in the preparation of this report.
Synonyms of Chronic Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction
- chronic idiopathic intestinal pseudo-obstruction
- pseudo-obstruction syndrome
- No subdivisions found.
Chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction (CIP) is a rare, potentially disabling gastrointestinal disorder characterized by abnormalities affecting the involuntary, coordinated muscular contractions (a process called peristalsis) of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Peristalsis propels food and other material through the digestive system under the control of nerves, pacemaker cells and hormones. CIP usually results from abnormalities affecting the muscles or nerves that are involved in peristalsis. Consequently, peristalsis becomes altered and inefficient. The symptoms of CIP resemble those caused by mechanical obstruction of the small bowel. Mechanical obstruction refers to something (such as a tumor, scar tissue, etc.) physically blocking the passage of food and other material through the GI tract. In individuals with CIP no such physical obstruction is present, hence the term pseudo-obstruction. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, abdominal swelling (distention) and constipation. Ultimately, normal nutritional requirements cannot be met leading to unintended weight loss and malnourishment. CIP can potentially cause severe, even life-threatening complications.
There is no agreed upon classification system for CIP and proposed classification systems tend to be complex and confusing. There are also many different causes of CIP, which only adds to the confusion. The unifying concept for CIP regardless of cause is an abnormality affecting the passage of food and other material through the digestive system (gastrointestinal motility). Generally, CIP is broken down into two main forms depending on whether the disorder involves the muscles (myopathic CIP) or nerves (neuropathic CIP) of the GI tract that are involved in peristalsis. Some researchers lump enteric dysmotility together with CIP. The prognosis of this separate yet similar condition is different from CIP. This report deals solely with the strict definition of CIP as a disorder that causes an "obstruction-like" picture.
Organizations related to Chronic Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction
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