Ogilvie syndrome

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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It is possible that the main title of the report Ogilvie syndrome is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion


Ogilvie syndrome is a rare, acquired disorder characterized by abnormalities affecting the involuntary, rhythmic muscular contractions (peristalsis) within the colon. Peristalsis propels food and other material through the digestive system through the coordination of muscles, nerves and hormones. The colon is often significantly widened (dilated). Symptoms are similar to other forms of intestinal pseudo-obstruction and can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal bloating or swelling and constipation. The symptoms of Ogilvie syndrome mimic those of mechanical obstruction of the colon, but no such physical obstruction is present. Mechanical obstruction refers to something (e.g., tumor, scar tissue, etc.) physically blocking the passage of food and other material through the GI tract. Ogilvie syndrome is usually associated with an underlying disorder, trauma or surgery. Ogilvie syndrome can be managed with conservative treatment, but if unrecognized and untreated can lead to serious, potentially life-threatening complications.


Ogilvie syndrome was first described in the medical literature in 1948 by a British surgeon named Sir William Ogilvie. The disorder is also known as acute colonic pseudo-obstruction (ACPO). It is not the same as chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, a similar, but distinct disorder.

Supporting Organizations

Association of Gastrointestinal Motility Disorders, Inc. (AGMD)

12 Roberts Drive
Bedford, MA 1730
Tel: (781)275-1300
Fax: (781)275-1304
Email: digestive.motility@gmail.com.
Website: http://www.agmd-gimotility.org

Bowel Group for Kids Inc.

PO Box 40
Oakdale, NSW, 2570
Tel: 02 4659 6067
Fax: 61 2 4659 6381
Email: enquiries@bgk.org.au
Website: http://www.bgk.org.au


3 St. Andrews Place
London, NW1 4LB
United Kingdom
Tel: 2074860341
Fax: 2072242012
Email: info@corecharity.org.uk
Website: http://www.corecharity.org.uk

Digestive Disease National Coalition

507 Capitol Court, NE
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20002
Tel: (202)544-7497
Fax: (202)546-7105
Email: ddnc@hmcw.org
Website: http://www.ddnc.org

Gastroparesis & Dysmotilities Association

5520 Dalhart Hill N.W.
Calgary, AB, T3A 1S9
Tel: 4032473215
Email: jkf@gpda.net
Website: http://www.digestivedistress.com

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders

700 W. Virginia St., 201
Milwaukee, WI 53217
Tel: (414)964-1799
Fax: (414)964-7176
Tel: (888)964-2001
Email: iffgd@iffgd.org
Website: http://www.iffgd.org

NIH/National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Diseases

Office of Communications & Public Liaison
Bldg 31, Rm 9A06
Bethesda, MD 20892-2560
Tel: (301)496-3583
Email: NDDIC@info.niddk.nih.gov
Website: http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report.

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  3/13/2012
Copyright  2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.