Intestinal Dysmotility of Critical Illness

  • David C. Evans
  • Robert G. Martindale
Reference work entry


Gastrointestinal dysmotility is a major challenge in critical care medicine as it contributes to reduced caloric and protein intake in patients with major metabolic stressors. The pathophysiology of dysmotility in the ICU is complex and multifactorial. As a dysfunctional gut can lead to systemic sepsis and proinflammatory states, dysmotility in critically ill patients can result in disastrous consequences. Patients with dysmotility require a multifaceted treatment approach that addresses multiple inciting causes and utilizes multiple pharmacological pathways. In this chapter we review the pathophysiology, the major etiologic causes, and proposed treatments of GI dysmotility in the critically ill.


Gastric Emptying Critical Illness Enteral Nutrition Enteric Nervous System Delayed Gastric Emptying 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations


Serotonin receptor


Central nervous system


Computed tomography




Intensive care unit




Migrating motor complex




Nitric oxide


Toll-like receptors


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma, Critical Care and BurnThe Ohio State University Wexner Medical CenterColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Department of Surgery, Division of General SurgeryOregon Health and Science UniversityPortlandUSA

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