Ogilvie's syndrome after pediatric spinal deformity surgery: successful treatment with neostigmine

Case report

Kristopher G. HootenDepartment of Neurological Surgery and

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 M.D.
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Seth F. OliveriaDepartment of Neurological Surgery and

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 M.D., Ph.D.
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Shawn D. LarsonDivision of Pediatric Surgery, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

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David W. PincusDepartment of Neurological Surgery and

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Ogilvie's syndrome is a rare and potentially fatal disease that can easily be mistaken for postoperative ileus. Also known as acute colonic pseudo-obstruction, early recognition and diagnosis of the syndrome allows for treatment prior to bowel perforation and requisite abdominal surgery. The authors report a case of Ogilvie's syndrome following spinal deformity correction and tethered cord release in an adolescent who presented with acute abdominal distension, nausea, and vomiting on postoperative Day 0. The patient was initially diagnosed with adynamic ileus and treated conservatively with bowel rest, reduction in narcotic dosage, and a regimen of stool softeners, laxatives, and enemas. Despite this treatment, her clinical course failed to improve, and she demonstrated significant colonic distension radiographically. Intravenous neostigmine was administered as a bolus with a rapid and dramatic response. This case is the first reported instance of neostigmine use for Ogilvie's syndrome treatment following a pediatric neurosurgical operation.

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