The Pathology of Megacolon

  • B. Smith
Conference paper


The smooth muscle of the bowel wall will contract spontaneously without a nerve supply, but the contractions are disorganised and the bolus does not move consistently analwards. The argyrophil nerve cells of the myenteric plexus control these contractions in such a manner that organised peristalsis occurs. If the nerve supply is absent or destroyed, pseudo-obstruction occurs, with hypersegmentation of the muscle which results in a noisy abdomen and a very thick, dilated bowel. The commonest causes of this condition can be divided into three groups.


Schwann Cell Nerve Cell Bowel Wall Autonomic Neuropathy Myenteric Plexus 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Smith

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