Rare Pulmonology News

Disease Profile

Chronic intestinal pseudoobstruction

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset

All ages





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)



Chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction (CIPO) is a rare disease characterized by repetitive episodes or continuous symptoms of bowel obstruction when no blockage exists. Problems with nerves, muscles, or interstitial cells of Cajal (the cells that set the pace of intestinal contractions) prevent normal contractions and cause problems with the movement of food, fluid, and air through the intestines. The most common symptoms are abdominal swelling or bloating (distention), vomiting, abdominal pain, failure to thrive, diarrhea, constipation, feeding intolerance and urinary symptoms. CIPO can occur in people of any age. It may be primary or secondary. Primary or idiopathic (where the cause is unknown) CIPO occurs by itself. Secondary CIPO develops as a complication of another medical condition. In some people with CIPO, the condition is caused by variations (mutations) affecting the FLNA or ACTG2 gene. Before making the diagnosis other conditions with similar symptoms should be ruled out.[1][2][3] 

Treatment aims to restore the normal bowel movements and to correct nutritional deficiencies. Treatment may include antibiotics, prokinetic medications (metoclopramide, cisapride), surgical excision of intestinal segments in cases of localized disease, and parenteral nutrition. Intestinal transplantation has been successful in some cases. Several specialists may be needed for better management of the disease.[4]


This table lists symptoms that people with this disease may have. For most diseases, symptoms will vary from person to person. People with the same disease may not have all the symptoms listed. This information comes from a database called the Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) . The HPO collects information on symptoms that have been described in medical resources. The HPO is updated regularly. Use the HPO ID to access more in-depth information about a symptom.

Medical Terms Other Names
Learn More:
30%-79% of people have these symptoms
Abnormal nervous system morphology
Abnormal shape of nervous system
Intestinal malrotation
Pyloric stenosis
5%-29% of people have these symptoms
Abnormal platelet morphology
Abnormal shape of platelets
Patent ductus arteriosus


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Organizations Supporting this Disease

    Organizations Providing General Support

      Learn more

      These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

      Where to Start

        In-Depth Information

        • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
        • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
        • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.


          1. Gfroerer S & Rolle U. Pediatric intestinal motility disorders. World J Gastroenterol. September 7, 2015; 21(33):9683–9687. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4562951/.
          2. Carnillereri M & Friedman LS. Chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction. UpToDate. 2016; https://www.uptodate.com/contents/topic.do?topicKey=GAST/2639.
          3. Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. February 26, 2014.; https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/intestinal-pseudo-obstruction/Pages/facts.aspx#sup1.
          4. Chronic intestinal pseudoobstruction. Orphanet. 2007; https://www.orpha.net/consor/cgi-bin/OC_Exp.php?lng=EN&Expert=2978.