Clinical review| Volume 39, ISSUE 5, P696-700, November 2010

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Ogilvie Syndrome and Herpes Zoster: Case Report and Review of the Literature


      Background: The very unusual association between herpes zoster and Ogilvie syndrome has received scant attention in the published literature. Objectives: This review discusses the published experience since 1950 and attempts to increase clinical awareness about the co-existence of both conditions. Case Report: An 84-year-old male patient affected by herpes zoster presented with advanced acute colonic pseudo-obstruction and was successfully treated with colonic diversion. Discussion: Twenty published studies (1950–2008) of 28 patients in whom the two conditions co-existed are reviewed. The review included 22 male and 7 female patients (24%) aged 32–87 years (mean, 61 years). Significant co-morbidities were present in 45% of the patients. The majority of patients were observed and treated conservatively (83%). Two patients died (7%), both suffering from respiratory complications and malignancy. Conclusion: Recognition of the combined syndrome may help to avoid unnecessary surgery. Laparotomy should be reserved as a last resort for when the obstruction cannot be successfully managed by endoscopy. A diverting colostomy can be used to monitor the blood supply and thus provide early warning for an impending abdominal catastrophe.


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