Lactulose-induced pneumatosis intestinalis and pneumoperitoneum

Robert A. Goodman, Thomas Riley III

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


A case of PI in a 57-year-old patient with colonic inertia treated with lactulose for PSE secondary to cirrhosis is described. The colonic inertia led to longer transit time. Retained lactulose and a build-up of carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas occurred in the setting of altered bacterial flora deficient in hydrogen metabolism. The increased gas pressure caused extravasation of air into the intestine, causing PI with pneumoperitoneum. They both resolved with discontinuation of lactulose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2549-2553
Number of pages5
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 20 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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