hernia;
stenosis (narrowing) of the intes-
tine, often due to cancer in the intestine;
intestinal
atresia; adhesions; volvulus;
and
intussusception
. Intestinal obstruc-
tion also occurs in diseases that affect
the intestinal wall, such as
Crohn's dis-
ease
. In less common cases, internal
blockage of the intestinal canal is caused
by impacted food,
faecal impaction, gall-
stones
, or an object that has been
accidentally swallowed.
A blockage in the small intestine usu-
ally causes intermittent cramp-like pain
in the centre of the abdomen with
increasingly frequent bouts of vomiting
and failure to pass wind or faeces. An
obstruction in the large intestine causes
pain, distension of the abdomen, and
failure to pass wind or faeces.
Treatments involve emptying the stom-
ach via a
nasogastric tube
and replacing
lost fluids through an intravenous drip
In some cases, this will be sufficient to
correct the problem. However, in many
cases, surgery to deal with the cause of
the blockage is necessary.
intestine, tumours of
Cancerous or
noncancerous growths in the intestine.
Cancerous tumours commonly affect the
large intestine (see
colon, cancer of
;
rec-
tum, cancer of
); the small intestine is only
rarely affected.
Lymphomas
and carcinoid
tumours (leading to
carcinoid syndrome
)
may sometimes develop in the intestine;
noncancerous tumours include
polyps
in the colon, and
adenomas
,
leiomy-
omas
,
lipomas
, and
angiomas
in the
small intestine.
intoxication
A general term for a con-
dition
resulting
from
poisoning
.
It
customarily refers to the effects of exces-
sive drinking (see
alcohol intoxication
),
but also includes
drug poisoning
, poi-
soning from the accumulation of the
by-products of
metabolism
in the body,
or the effects of industrial poisons.
intra-
A prefix that means within, as in
the term intramuscular (within a mus-
cle). (See also
inter-.)
intracavitary therapy
Treatment of a
cancerous tumour in a body cavity or
the cavity of a hollow organ by placing a
radioactive implant or
anticancer drugs
within the cavity. Also called brachy-
therapy, intracavitary
radiotherapy
is
INTESTINE, TUMOURS OF
INTRACEREBRAL HAEMORRHAGE
INTRACAVITARY THERAPY
Uterus
Radioactive implant
Bladder
Vagina
INTRACAVITARY RADIOTHERAPY
mainly used to treat cancers of the
uterus and cervix (see
uterus, cancer of
;
cervix, cancer of
). If implants (usually in
the form of artificial radioisotopes em-
bedded in wires or small tubes) are used,
they are left there for a period of time.
The technique may be used to treat a
malignant effusion (a collection of fluid
that contains cancerous cells). A needle,
sometimes with a
catheter
attached, is
passed through the wall of the abdomen
or the chest into the abdominal cavity or
pleural cavity (the space around the
lungs). As much of the fluid as possible
is withdrawn from the cavity before anti-
cancer drugs are injected directly into
it. (See also
interstitial radiotherapy
.)
intracerebral
haemorrhage
Bleed-
ing into the brain from a ruptured blood
vessel. It is 1
of the 3 principal mecha-
nisms by which a stroke can occur. It
mainly affects middle-aged or elderly
people and is usually due to
atheroscle-
rosis
.
Untreated
hypertension
increases
the risk of intracerebral haemorrhage.
The ruptured artery is usually in the
cerebrum
.
The escaped blood seeps out,
damaging brain tissue. The symptoms are
sudden headache, weakness, and con-
fusion, and often loss of consciousness.
Speech loss, facial paralysis, or one-
sided weakness may develop, depending
on the area affected. Surgery is usually
impossible; treatment is aimed at life-
support and the reduction of blood
pressure. Large haemorrhages are usually
fatal. For the survivor of an intracerebral
haemorrhage, rehabilitation and outlook
are as for any type of stroke.
315
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