Small bowel (small intestine)

Author: Hanni Gulwani, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 15 February 2018, last major update August 2012

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Small bowel obstruction[TI] pathology free full text[sb]

Cite this page: Gulwani, H. Obstruction - general. website. Accessed March 21st, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Mechanical causes: adhesions, atresia, bands, congenital stricture (children), fecaliths, foreign bodies, gallstones, hernias, inflammation, intussusception, mesenteric ossification (Am J Surg Pathol 1999;23:1464), systemic disease (diabetes, scleroderma), tumors, volvulus
  • Disturbances in peristalsis: Hirschsprung, ileus postoperative paralytic, myopathy
  • 80% due to hernias, intestinal adhesions, intussusception, volvulus
  • May cause stasis, with resulting malabsorption
  • Symptoms: distension, failure to pass flatus, pain, vomiting
  • Dietary changes, medication (octreotide), surgery, intestinal transplantation
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Patchy mucosal changes of variable villus abnormality, increased chronic inflammatory cells in epithelium and lamina propria, occasional neutrophils