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Segmental Motor Paralysis A Cause of Intestinal Obstruction and Ileostomy Dysfunction

AMA Arch Surg. 1959;79(5):847-852. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1959.04320110149025.
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A mechanical type of intestinal obstruction may result from a localized functional block to peristalsis. This interruption of peristaltic activity in a segment of intestine is usually secondary to a variety of abdominal diseases. This concept of functional block or "segmental motor paralysis" is applied to a group of patients with clinical and radiological manifestations of a mechanical type of intestinal obstruction but in whom no anatomical block of the lumen was encountered at surgery. A segmental motor paralysis is also believed to be the underlying cause of ileostomy dysfunction in a certain group of patients with infection of the ileostomy stoma. Examples of this type of intestinal obstruction are presented with further explanation as to the probable mechanism causing this functional obstruction.

Panel I.  —The first panel simply reviews the usual types of intestinal obstruction, with particular emphasis upon three points. Two radiographs and a drawing are shown to


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