We think that these two patients represent the first descriptions of colonic pseudo-obstruction in sickle cell disease.
In 1997, 5 years after her laparotomy for acute intestinal obstruction, barium studies revealed a radiologically normal small bowel but a sluggish, moderately dilated colon free of any obstructive lesions but consistent with chronic colonic pseudo-obstruction.
On the basis of previous experience, a diagnosis of acute colonic pseudo-obstruction was made.
The course of illness in these two sickle cell disease patients was complicated by bouts of acute colonic pseudo-obstruction (Ogilivie's syndrome).
The pathogenesis of colonic pseudo-obstruction is unclear, however, for not only were various disorders such as collagen vascular diseases, visceral myopathies, and neuropathies reportedly associated with intestinal pseudo-obstruction (10) excluded, but no evidence of microvascular occlusion was found on light or electron microscopy of various sections of the bowel wall.
Acute colonic pseudo-obstruction developed in two patients with severe sickle cell disease.
Acute colonic pseudo-obstruction became chronic in one patient but was followed by full recovery in the second patient.