Concept: Abdominal distension
A 62-year-old female with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1; also von Recklinghausen’s disease) was diagnosed with a giant, thick-walled tubular mass, mainly located in the right abdominal area on computed tomography, following an examination for intermittent abdominal pain and increasing abdominal distension. According to the clinical manifestations and imaging features, the giant tubular mass was considered most likely to be a dilated fallopian tube associated with infection, while the possibility of obstructed bowel loops was excluded. However, the subsequent laparotomy revealed a giant appendix, caused by a large neurofibroma in the root region of the appendix, which occluded the lumen. Neurofibroma of the appendix is extremely rare, even in patients with NF1. To the best of our knowledge, only three such cases have previously been reported in the English literature to date.
BACKGROUND: The aim of our study was to evaluate gas retention, abdominal symptoms and changes in girth circumference in females with bloating using an active or sham abdominal wall mechanical stimulation. METHODS: In 14 female patients, complaining of bloating (11 with irritable bowel syndrome and 3 with functional bloating according to the Rome III criteria) a gas mixture was continuously infused into the colon for 1 h (accommodation period). Abdominal perception and girth were measured. At the beginning of the 30-min period of free rectal gas evacuation (clearance period), an electromechanical device was positioned on the abdominal wall of all patients. The patients were randomly assigned to an active or a sham stimulation protocol group. Gas retention, perception and abdominal distension were measured at the end of the clearance period. RESULTS: All patients tolerated the volume (1,440 ml) of gas infused into the colon. Abdominal perception and girth measurements was similar in both groups during the accommodation period. At the end of the clearance, the perception score and the girth changes in the active and sham stimulation groups were similar (2.8 ± 2.0 vs. 1.4 ± 1.2, p = 0.2 and 4.9 ± 4.5 vs. 2.8 ± 2.3 mm, p = 0.3 active vs. sham, respectively). Furthermore, the mechanical stimulation of the abdominal wall did not significantly reduce gas retention (495 ± 101 ml vs. 566 ± 55, active vs. sham, p = 0.1). CONCLUSIONS: An external mechanical massage of the abdominal wall did not improve intestinal gas transit, abdominal perception and abdominal distension in our female patients complaining of functional bloating.
Intolerance to enteral nutrition is common in critically ill adults, and may result in significant morbidity including ileus, abdominal distension, vomiting and potential aspiration events. Prokinetic agents are prescribed to improve gastric emptying. However, the efficacy and safety of these agents in critically ill patients is not well-defined. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the efficacy and safety of prokinetic agents in critically ill patients.
In patients with functional gut disorders, abdominal distension has been associated with descent of the diaphragm and protrusion of the anterior abdominal wall. We investigated mechanisms of abdominal distension in these patients.
Bloating is one of the most common and bothersome symptoms complained by a large proportion of patients. This symptom has been described with various definitions, such as sensation of a distended abdomen or an abdominal tension or even excessive gas in the abdomen, although bloating should probably be defined as the feeling (e.g. a subjective sensation) of increased pressure within the abdomen. It is usually associated with functional gastrointestinal disorders, like irritable bowel syndrome, but when bloating is not part of another functional bowel or gastrointestinal disorder it is included as an independent entity in Rome III criteria named functional bloating. In terms of diagnosis, major difficulties are due to the lack of measurable parameters to assess and grade this symptom. In addition, it is still unclear to what extent the individual patient complaint of subjective bloating correlates with the objective evidence of abdominal distension. In fact, despite its clinical, social and economic relevance, bloating lacks a clear pathophysiology explanation, and an effective management endorsement, turning this common symptom into a true challenge for both patients and clinicians. Different theories on bloating etiology call into questions an increased luminal contents (gas, stools, liquid or fat) and/or an impaired abdominal empting and/or an altered intra-abdominal volume displacement (abdomino-phrenic theory) and/or an increased perception of intestinal stimuli with a subsequent use of empirical treatments (diet modifications, antibiotics and/or probiotics, prokinetic drugs, antispasmodics, gas reducing agents and tricyclic antidepressants). In this review, our aim was to review the latest knowledge on bloating physiopathology and therapeutic options trying to shed lights on those processes where a clinician could intervene to modify disease course.
Bloating, as a symptom and abdominal distension, as a sign, are both common functional-type complaints and challenging to manage effectively. Individual patients may weight differently the impact of bloating and distension on their well-being. Complaints may range from chronic highly distressing pain to simply annoying and unfashionable protrusion of the abdomen. To avoid mishaps, organic bloating, and distension should always be considered first and appropriated assessed. Functional bloating and distension often present in association with other manifestations of irritable bowel syndrome or functional dyspepsia and in that context patients tend to regard them as most troublesome. A mechanism-based management bloating and distension should be ideal but elucidating key operational mechanisms in individual patients is not always feasible. Some clues may be gathered through a detailed dietary history, by assessing bowel movement frequency and stool consistency and special imaging technique to measure abdominal shape during episodes of distension. In severe, protracted cases it may be appropriate to refer the patient to a specialized center where motility, visceral sensitivity, and abdominal muscle activity in response to intraluminal stimuli may be measured. Therapeutic resources focussed upon presumed or demonstrated pathogenetic mechanism include dietary modification, microbiome modulation, promoting gas evacuation, attenuating visceral perception, and controlling abdominal wall muscle activity via biofeedback.Am J Gastroenterol advance online publication, 16 May 2017; doi:10.1038/ajg.2017.129.
Haemorrhagic bowel syndrome (HBS) is a sporadically occurring disorder in fattening pigs, characterized by sudden death in combination with severe abdominal distension and intense red colouration of the intestine. Deep understanding of aetiology and pathogenesis of HBS are still lacking, although several risk factors are known.
Residual, intra-abdominal CO2 contributes to abdominal distension and pain after laparoscopic surgery. The study was designed to assess recovery after gas release in patients who have undergone laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC).
Despite the usual typical presentation, congenital chloride diarrhea (CCD) poses multiple diagnostic challenges. It has an incidence of 1/5000 in Saudi Arabia. CCD can mimic intestinal obstruction and result in avoidable surgical interventions. Contributing factors are abdominal distension and the watery (urine-like) diarrhea that is often interpreted as delayed passage of meconium. Surgical interventions would unnecessarily increase the morbidity. Therefore, a high index of suspicion and educating neonatologists, general pediatricians, and pediatric surgeons regarding this diagnostic entity is essential. Here we describe 5 such cases.
Retroperitoneal fibrosis is a rare condition characterized by chronic inflammation and marked fibrosis of the retroperitoneal tissue, often leading to entrapment of abdominal organs. We report a 69-year-old white man who presented with a 5-week history of gradual onset of progressive abdominal distension. He had no history or risk factors for an underlying liver condition. Ascites and a retroperitoneal mass encasing the major abdominal vessels were revealed on imaging. Biopsies of the mass confirmed the presence of retroperitoneal fibrosis, and the ascitic fluid was milky, consistent with chylous ascites. We discuss this rare presentation and the challenges of treatment for chylous ascites caused by RPF, including the role for supportive treatment.