Megacolon is a severe, abnormal dilatation of the colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy, and is classified as acute or chronic. There are many etiologies of megacolon, including neuropathic and dysmotility conditions, severe infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease, ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage, and inflammatory bowel disease. Toxic megacolon is an acute form of megacolon with systemic toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation, and carries the highest morbidity Morbidity The proportion of patients with a particular disease during a given year per given unit of population. Measures of Health Status and mortality Mortality All deaths reported in a given population. Measures of Health Status. Common symptoms include abdominal distention, pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways, bloody diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea, or obstipation Obstipation Large Bowel Obstruction. Diagnosis depends on the underlying cause, and is usually established with a combination of the patient’s history, laboratory findings, and imaging studies. Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with chronic megacolon may require laxatives Laxatives Laxatives are medications used to promote defecation. Most often, laxatives are used to treat constipation or for bowel preparation for certain procedures. There are 4 main classes of laxatives: bulk-forming, stimulant, osmotic, and emollient. Laxatives, enemas, and bowel training. Management for acute megacolon includes supportive care, decompression, and potential surgery.
Last updated: Nov 3, 2022
Megacolon is a severe dilatation of the colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy secondary to impaired motility Motility The motor activity of the gastrointestinal tract. Gastrointestinal Motility or an inflammatory process. The condition is classified based on the time course and duration:
These studies help evaluate the severity of the disease, complications, and potential causes.
Sign up now and get free access to Lecturio with concept pages, medical videos, and questions for your medical education.
Lecturio Premium gives you full access to all content & features
Verify your email now to get a free trial.
Lecturio Premium gives you full access to all contents and features—including Lecturio’s Qbank with up-to-date board-style questions.