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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 4, Issue 9, Pages 542-545
Colon and Rectum

Endoscopic Colonic Decompression

Norman E Marcon

Division of Gastroenterology, The Wellesley Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 1990 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Colonic pseudo-obscruction, or Ogilvie's syndrome, is characterized by marked distension of the large intestine in the absence of mechanical obstruction. Etiology is unknown. Left untreated, it may lead to perforation with a mortality of 46%. Reversible causes such as electrolyte imbalance, anricholinergic drugs, analgesics, steroids or hypothyro1d1sm should he excluded. Early recognition of pseudo-obstruction with institution of supportive means followed by colonoscopic decompression with rube placement should be successful in all cases.