Small bowel (small intestine)

Topic Completed: 1 August 2012

Minor changes: 12 March 2019

Copyright: 2003-2019,, Inc.

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

Hanni Gulwani, M.B.B.S.
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Cite this page: Gulwani H. Obstruction - general. website. Accessed May 29th, 2020.
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
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