Treatment alternatives in renal failure and renal transplantation patients with nonobstructive colonic dilatation

William E. Strodel, Thomas L. Dent, Timothy T. Nostrant, Frederic E. Eckhauser, Darrell A. Campbell, William H. Marks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The incidence of nonobstructive colonic dilatation (NCD) is unknown, but the attendant mortality associated with perforation is nearly 50%. Patients with chronic renal failure and transplant recipients may manifest many of the conditions that have been implicated in the development of NCD. Mechanical obstruction and ischemic bowel disease must be eliminated as causes for colon dilatation. Over a four-year period eight patients (mean age 50 years) were treated for presumed NCD. Six patients with a mean cecal diameter of 12.8 cm were treated initially with colonscopy. Five patients (83%) had successful endoscopic decompression; of the three remaining patients, one underwent urgent ileocolectomy for cecal ischemia after unsuccessful endoscopic decompression, a second (cecal diameter 13 cm) had a tube cecostomy performed as an initial procedure, and the third (cecal diameter 9 cm) was managed successfully with enemas and nasogastric suction. Two deaths occurred in the series (25%), but both were unrelated to colon distension. No complications of colonoscopy were observed. The sequelae of massive NCD (cecal ischemia, perforation, and protracted sepsis) are poorly tolerated in the immunocompromised patient. Conservative management may be employed in patients with a cecal diameter of 9 cm, but urgent diagnostic and therapeutic colonoscopy is recommended for patients with a cecal diameter of 12 cm or greater. Operative tube cecostomy may be necessary if colonoscopic decompression is unsuccessful or cannot be performed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-40
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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