Gastrointestinal dysmotility in critically ill patients

Authors Theodoros Ladopoulos, Maria Giannaki, Christina Alexopoulou, Athanasia Proklou, Emmanuel Pediaditis, Eumorfia Kondili.


Gastrointestinal (GI) motility disorders are commonly present in critical illness. Up to 60% of critically ill patients have been reported to experience GI dysmotility of some form necessitating therapeutic intervention. It has been attributed to various factors, related to both the underlying disease and the therapeutic interventions undertaken. The assessment of motility disturbances can be challenging in critically ill patients, as the available tests used to detect abnormal motility have major limitations in the setting of an Intensive Care Unit. Critically ill patients with GI dysmotility require a multifaceted treatment approach that addresses multiple causes and utilizes multiple pharmacological pathways. In this review, we discuss the pathophysiology, assessment and management of GI dysmotility in critically ill patients.

Keywords Gastrointestinal motility, gastrointestinal dysmotility, critically ill

Ann Gastroenterol 2018; 31 (3): 273-281

Review Articles