Chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction (CIPO) is a rare, severe and disabling disorder of gastrointestinal motility. CIPO may involve multiple areas of the gastrointestinal tract, including the small intestine, colon, esophagus and stomach.
In children with CIPO, the coordinated muscle contractions in the intestinal tract, called the peristalsis, become altered and inefficient. Effective peristalsis is very important for digestion and is dependent on muscles, nerves and hormones in the digestive tract. If there is a disruption in the peristalsis, children may experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and constipation. Children with CIPO ultimately cannot get the nutrition they require, which can lead to weight loss and malnourishment, and in some cases, life-threatening complications.