Etiological Spectrum of Dynamic Intestinal Obstruction

Tariq Wahab Khanzada, Abdul Samad, Champa Sushel


Background: Intestinal obstruction is a common and potentially dangerous surgical emergency with high morbidity and mortality if managed inappropriately. It is essential to distinguish between its various types. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of various causes of mechanical intestinal obstruction in our practice.

Material and Methods: This was a prospective cohort study carried out at Isra University Hospital and three major private hospitals of Hyderabad from January 2002 to December 2006. All adult patients presenting with symptoms suggestive of intestinal obstruction were included in the study. Patient with adynamic obstruction and those having definite peritonitis were excluded from the study. Various causes of dynamic intestinal obstruction were noted and this data was compared with the local and international studies.

Results: Out of 171 patients operated for dynamic intestinal obstruction, tuberculosis was found in 70 (41%) patients making it the most common cause followed by adhesions in 56 (33%) and obstructed inguinal hernia in 21 (12%) patients. Other less common causes of intestinal obstruction reported in this study included intussusception, colorectal cancer, volvulus, and pelvic abscess.

Conclusion: The causes of intestinal obstruction are variable in different parts of the world. Tuberculosis is still the leading cause of intestinal obstruction in this part of the world.

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