Acute abdomen in mentally retarded patients: role of aerophagia. Report of nine cases

Eur J Surg. 1999 May;165(5):507-11. doi: 10.1080/110241599750006802.


Between 1993 and 1996 nine mentally retarded patients presented because of an acute abdomen. All had the habit of aerophagia, diagnosed previously by a general practitioner. Massive distension of the bowel led to ileus, volvulus, and necrosis. After placement of a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy catheter or performing a gastrostomy during laparotomy with the intention to use as a desufflator, no recurrence of the signs and symptoms of an acute abdomen were observed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen, Acute / etiology*
  • Adult
  • Aerophagy / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability*
  • Male