Published online Aug 16, 2015. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v3.i8.721
Peer-review started: February 12, 2015
First decision: April 27, 2015
Revised: May 2, 2015
Accepted: May 27, 2015
Article in press: May 28, 2015
Published online: August 16, 2015
The term bezoar refers to an intraluminal mass in the gastrointestinal system caused by the accumulation of indigestible ingested materials, such as vegetables, fruits, and hair. Bezoars are responsible for 0.4%-4% of cases of mechanical intestinal obstruction. The clinical findings of bezoar-induced ileus do not differ from those of mechanical intestinal obstruction due to other causes. The appearance and localization of bezoars can be established with various imaging methods. Treatment of choice depends on the localization of the bezoar which makes the clinical findings.
Core tip: Bezoars are conglomerates of indigested foreign material that accumulate in the gastrointestinal tract. They are responsible for 0.4%-4% of cases of mechanical intestinal obstruction although the true incidence is not known. Recent advances in imaging methods have facilitated the diagnosis of intestinal obstruction due to phytobezoars. The most valuable method for determining the location and etiology of intestinal obstructions is contrast-enhanced computed tomography. This review aims to summarize the definition and history, causes of bezoar formation, clinical findings, diagnostic methods, treatment of these rare intestinal obstructions caused by phytobezoars.