Gastrointestinal Obstruction

How to Cite This Chapter: Lysecki P, Kahnamoui K, Ciećkiewicz J. Gastrointestinal Obstruction. McMaster Textbook of Internal Medicine. Kraków: Medycyna Praktyczna. Accessed April 24, 2024.
Last Updated: May 14, 2019
Last Reviewed: April 20, 2021
Chapter 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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