1993 Volume 30 Issue 7 Pages 626-631
The authors experienced two elderly patients of megacolon associated with cerebral infarction and diabetes mellitus. The first patient was a 66-year-old female who was admitted to our hospital for rehabilitation with a complaint of knee pain. She had suffered from diabetes mellitus since she was 30 years old and multiple cerebral infarction since age 62. Two months after admission, she had an episode of abdominal distension and obstructive symptoms. The roentgenograms of her abdomen showed diffuse dilatation of the colon. The second patient was a 78-year-old female admitted to our hospital with complaints of abdominal pain, distension of the abdomen and vomiting. Her abdomen was severely distended and plain roentgenograms of the abdomen, X-ray studies of the colon with the aid of contrast medium and CT scan of the abdomen showed striking dilatation of the colon. Megacolon may be congenital or acquired, and in acquired forms the conditions are secondary to organic diseases, smooth muscle atrophy, metabolic and neurological diseases, ulcerative colitis or phychogenic origin (idiopatic). The two patients in this series were suffered from cerebral infarction and diabetes mellitus. The mechanisms of megacolon seen in these two patients are not known, but involvement of the visceral autonomic innervation is presumed. Some elderly patients have chronic constipation, and dilatation of the colon may not be uncommon due to underlying diseases or drugs. Therefore, when examining elderly patients, careful attention should be paid to their bowel movement.