Idiopathic intestinal pseudo-obstruction: A familial visceral neuropathy


Department of Medical Genetics Institute of Clinical Science Grosvenor Road Belfast, BT12 6BJ Northern Ireland


Four individuals with idiopathic intestinal pseudo-obstruction (IIP), a familial visceral neuropathy with autosomal dominant inheritance, are presented. The disorder is characterised by abdominal colic, abdominal distension and diarrhoea, and is of a progressive nature with relapses and remissions. The main feature is a disturbance of motility in the affected intestine, with histological evidence of a neuronal disorder, characterised by hyperplasia and eventual atrophy. Management of the condition is difficult; initially, treatment should be conservative by nasogastric suction with intravenous nutrition. When laparotomy is undertaken to exclude mechanical obstruction, resection of the intestine is inadvisable, and ileocolic anastomosis may be beneficial.