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Disease Profile

Ogilvie syndrome

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





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)

Ogilvie's syndrome; Acute colonic ileus; Acute colonic pseudo-obstruction;


Ogilvie syndrome is a rare condition that affects the large intestines (colon). Although the signs and symptoms mimic those of an intestinal blockage, there is no physical obstruction. Instead, the symptoms are due to nerve or muscle problems that affect peristalsis (the involuntary, rhythmic muscular contractions that move food, fluid, and air through the intestines). In people affected by Ogilvie syndrome, the symptoms come on suddenly and may include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal distention (swelling), constipation, and/or diarrhea. If untreated, the condition can cause malnutrition, bacterial overgrowth in the intestines, and weight loss. The underlying cause of Ogilvie syndrome is poorly understood. However, it usually occurs in adults when the colon becomes enlarged after surgery, illness or injury. Treatment options for Ogilvie syndrome include supportive therapy that addresses associated symptoms, medications, decompression (a procedure that reduces pressure within the colon) and surgery.[1][2][3]


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

      • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
      • The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NIDDK) conducts and supports research on a broad spectrum of diseases affecting public health. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
      • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.

        In-Depth Information

        • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
        • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Ogilvie syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


          1. Remy P. Ogilvie syndrome. NORD. 2012; https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/ogilvie-syndrome/.
          2. Camilleri M. Acute colonic pseudo-obstruction (Ogilvie's syndrome). UpToDate. March 2015; https://www.uptodate.com/contents/acute-colonic-pseudo-obstruction-ogilvies-syndrome.
          3. Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. February 2014; https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/intestinal-pseudo-obstruction.