Paraneoplastic intestinal pseudo-obstruction as the presenting feature of small cell lung cancer

J. F. Colombel, M. Parent, D. Lescut, A. Cortot, F. Guillemot, C. Plane, P. Bonniere, M. Lecomte-Houcke, J. C. Paris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A previously healthy 50-year-old man presented with acute small bowel obstruction. No etiology was found at laparotomy. Postoperatively, the patient remained symptomatic with nausea, vomiting and severe constipation. Gastroscopy revealed retained food in the stomach. Gastric emptying of solids and liquids was dramatically decreased at scintiscanning. The colon was dilated on X-ray study. Chest X-ray revealed a pneumopathy and a small cell lung cancer was discovered at bronchoscopy. The patient died 5 months after onset. Histologic study of the gut showed widespread degeneration of the myenteric plexus with plasma cell infiltration, Schwann cell proliferation and a reduced number of neurons of which many were abnormal. Intestinal pseudo-obstruction can reveal a small cell lung cancer; the mechanism of neuronal impairment leading to pseudo-obstruction remains unknown, but could be related to the pathophysiology of paraneoplastic syndromes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-396
Number of pages3
JournalGastroenterologie Clinique et Biologique
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Paraneoplastic intestinal pseudo-obstruction as the presenting feature of small cell lung cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this