A rare condition in which symptoms suggest obstruction but where no obstruction is present. The condition is seen following major respiratory or renal disease and/or after major trauma.
Symptoms are similar to those of intestinal obstruction, with distension and tinkling bowel sounds.
Abdominal X-ray reveals gas extending to the rectum, which may be useful to differentiate from true obstruction. It is managed conservatively, any underlying cause should be identified and treated.