Could JC virus be linked to chronic idiopathic intestinal pseudo-obstruction?

  • Emanuele Sinagra
  • Dario Raimondo
  • Elena Gallo
  • Marco Calvaruso
  • Vincenzo Luca LentiniEmail author
  • Alessandra Cannizzaro
  • Cristina Linea
  • Marco Giunta
  • Luigi Maria Montalbano
  • Gennaro D’Amico
  • Aroldo Gabriele Rizzo
Case Report


JC virus is a member of the Polyomavirus family, infects humans worldwide, and 90% of the population carry antibodies to the virus by adult life. The initial infection is asymptomatic, but it may become persistent. JC virus DNA is frequently present in the upper and lower gastrointestinal tracts of healthy adults. Chronic idiopathic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, one of the most severe gastrointestinal motility disorders, is a condition characterized by a clinical picture mimicking small bowel occlusion with related symptoms and signs in the absence of demonstrable mechanical obstruction. Because of the known neuropathic capability of this virus, and its frequent presence in the gut, it has been proposed that JCV might be detectable in tissues of patients with chronic idiopathic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, and possibly be involved in the pathogenesis of this disease, because the virus may actively infect the enteroglial cells of the myenteric plexuses of the patients with chronic idiopathic intestinal pseudo-obstruction. We report two cases of upper idiopathic intestinal pseudo-obstruction associated with JCV infection.


JC virus Chronic idiopathic intestinal pseudo-obstruction Gastrointestinal motility disorders 



JC virus


Chronic idiopathic intestinal pseudo-obstruction


Smooth muscle antibodies


Liver kidney microsome antibodies


Anti-mitochondrial antibodies


Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies


Anti-nuclear antibodies


Anti-tissue transglutaminase


Hepatitis B virus


Hepatitis C virus


Human immunodeficiency virus




Epstein Barr virus


Herpes simplex virus


Computed tomography


Total parenteral nutrition


Proton pump inhibitor


Polymerase chain reaction


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures followed have been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Gastroenterology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emanuele Sinagra
    • 1
    • 4
  • Dario Raimondo
    • 1
  • Elena Gallo
    • 2
  • Marco Calvaruso
    • 5
  • Vincenzo Luca Lentini
    • 2
    Email author
  • Alessandra Cannizzaro
    • 2
  • Cristina Linea
    • 3
  • Marco Giunta
    • 3
  • Luigi Maria Montalbano
    • 3
  • Gennaro D’Amico
    • 3
  • Aroldo Gabriele Rizzo
    • 2
  1. 1.Endoscopy Unit, Contrada Pietra Pollastra PisciottoFondazione Istituto San Raffaele–G. GiglioCefalùItaly
  2. 2.Unit of Pathology, Ospedali Riuniti “Villa Sofia–CervelloUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly
  3. 3.Unit of Gastroenterology, Ospedali Riuniti “Villa Sofia–CervelloUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly
  4. 4.Euro-Mediterranean Institute of Science and Technology (IEMEST)PalermoItaly
  5. 5.Contrada Pietra Pollastra PisciottoIstituto Di Bioimmagini E Fisiologia Molecolare, IBFM-CNRCefalùItaly

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