Case contributed by Dr Varun Babu


Patient was referred from the neuropsychiatry / social affairs department, a spastic quadriplegic (cerebral palsy) with increasing abdominal distension for evaluation.

Patient Data

Age: 40 years
Gender: Male

Abdomen erect frontal radiograph

Gas filled small and large bowel loops. 

The large bowel loops appear distended and air filled up to the sigmoid colon wherein the air column is cut off in the pelvis. 

No abnormal radiodensities seen. 


CT abdomen and pelvis with oral positive and i.v. iodinated contrast.

Overtly distended large bowel secondary to a large volume of feces impacted within the distal sigmoid and rectum. There is secondary mild reactionary perirectal fluid. No definite rectal wall breach or free intra abdominal air identified. The small bowel loops are collapsed. 

Nasogastric tube in situ. A rectal tube also seen in situ to facilitate stool evacuation. 

Case Discussion

Untreated chronic constipation is a problem frequently encountered in the pediatric and elderly population. Another subset of population that is dearly affected by it are neuropsychiatric patients. The lack of fiber diet and oral water intake and resulting chronic constipation leads to fecal impaction. This is a differential that has to be considered high up in this sector of the population. 

PlayAdd to Share

Case information

rID: 46075
Published: 20th Jun 2016
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.