Gastrointestinal Obstruction

Chapter: Gastrointestinal Obstruction
McMaster Section Editor(s): Peter Lovrics
Section Editor(s) in Interna Szczeklika: Witold Bartnik†, Władysław Januszewicz
McMaster Author(s): Paul Lysecki, Kamyar Kahnamoui
Author(s) in Interna Szczeklika: Jan Ciećkiewicz
† Deceased.
Additional Information

Clinical Features And Natural HistoryTop

Symptoms of acute gastrointestinal obstruction may include:

1) Abdominal pain.

2) Nausea and vomiting.

3) Retention of gas and stools.

Causes of gastrointestinal obstruction can be broadly characterized as being mechanical or functional in nature. Regardless of the cause, impairment of intestinal transit leads to increase in intestinal secretion and decrease in intestinal reabsorption of fluids. This often results in hypovolemia, which is further exacerbated by diminished oral intake and/or vomiting. Patients with adynamic ileus or mechanical obstruction in whom effective treatment is not started may develop dehydration, hypotension, shock, multiple organ failure, and death.

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