Ogilvie's Syndrome Following Traumatic Rupture of the Thoracic Aorta

Arch Surg. 1986;121(5):615. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1986.01400050133021.
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To the Editor.—Ogilvie's syndrome, an acute colonic dilation associated with many extracolonic diseases, developed in a patient following traumatic rupture of the thoracic aorta. This condition was possibly due to disruption of the sacral parasympathetic innervation of the colon after a cardiovascular procedure for the traumatic injury.

Report of a Case.—A 63-year-old woman sustained a flail chest of the left side, a myocardial contusion, and multiple fractures in an automobile accident. A thoracic aortogram demonstrated rupture of the aorta immediately distal to the subclavian artery. After repair with a Dacron graft without shunting, an incomplete motor and sensory deficit was noted in the lower extremities. Enteral nutrition was started when bowel sounds were present.

The patient developed oliguria, abdominal distention, and respiratory distress quiring quiring mechanical ventilation. A plain abdominal roentgenogram revealed a colon dilated predominantly with air and minimal fluid. Following bowel rest and nasogastric aspiration, diarrhea


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