Familial visceral myopathy. A family with involvement of four generations

Dig Dis Sci. 1992 Mar;37(3):464-9. doi: 10.1007/BF01307744.


A family with the autosomal dominant form of familial visceral myopathy is described involving four generations. The members illustrate several different clinical presentations including severe constipation, diarrhea, alternating constipation and diarrhea, volvulus, urinary tract infection, and retention of urine. One patient's history suggested that the uterus may have been involved. Diagnosis of this rare disease requires an awareness of the variable presentation and a careful histological examination of full-thickness sections of bowel. The potential pitfalls in both histological and clinical diagnosis of this condition are demonstrated in this family's history. The extensive involvement of small and large bowel in at least two family members is unusual in the autosomal dominant form of the disease, but their course has so far been favorable, lending further evidence to the impression that prognosis is good. This is of importance for genetic counseling of families who have this very rare disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Family*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction / diagnosis
  • Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pedigree