Chronic Intestinal Pseudoobstruction as a Possible Sequel to Encephalitis

Bruyn, G. A. W.; Bots, A. M.; Van Wijhe, M.; Van Kersen, F.
January 1986
American Journal of Gastroenterology;Jan1986, Vol. 81 Issue 1, p50
Academic Journal
A patient is reported who presented with a typical intestinal pseudoobstruction syndrome. Before this illness, the patient had suffered from measles encephalitis at the age of 15 months. A postencephalitic syndrome was present which included severe mental retardation, parkinsonism, and epilepsy. There were no relatives with a similar disease. Clinically, there was a frank recurrent pseudoobstruction syndrome with occasional diarrhea. Radiographic barium studies showed delayed transit, hypomotility of the intestines, and gross distension of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon. Histological examination of the gastrointestinal tract revealed a normal appearance of the mucosa; however, there was a hypertrophic muscle layer with abnormalities of the plexuses. Both the submucosal and the myenteric plexuses were reduced in number and size. They showed a decreased number of ganglion cells, proliferation of Schwann cells and infiltration by lymphocytes. The abnormalities were most strikingly present in the esophagus and the small intestine. The intestinal neuropathy resulting in clinical pseudoobstruction is proposed to he part of the generalised neurological pathology as a late sequel to the measles encephalitis.


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