Intussusception in infants and children: risk factors leading to surgical reduction.

J. L. Chung*, M. S. Kong, J. N. Lin, K. L. Wang, C. C. Lou, H. F. Wong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

33 Scopus citations


Intussusception is commonly the etiology of intestinal obstruction in infants and children. To investigate demographic data, clinicopathologic features and therapeutic prognosis of patients with intussusception, we reviewed 361 intussusceptions in 333 patients over an 11-year period. Most patients were below two years of age and there was a male preponderance of 1.6:1. There was no seasonal difference between the number of cases. The clinical triad of vomiting, abdominal colicky pain and bloody stools was manifested in only one-third of our patients. Secondary intussusception contributed to 6.6% of cases and Meckel's diverticulum was the most common pathologic cause. Positive findings were recorded in 82% of 67 patients undergoing sonographic examination. Intussusception of the ileo-colic type was most frequently encountered. Most patients (79%) were diagnosed within 48 hours and almost all cases underwent primary barium enema reduction. The success rate was 45%. Laparotomy was performed in 207 patients (57%) refractory to enema reduction or with critical illness, and intestinal resection was required in 28 (14%). Long-standing duration of illness (> 24 hours), positive clinical triad, positive pathologic lead point, and radiologic finding of bowel obstruction were identified as risk factors leading patients to surgical reduction (p < 0.001). Postoperative complications and recurrent intussusception developed in some patients, and the overall mortality was 0.6%. The clinical characteristics of intussusception in children generally remained unchanged as compared to previous reports. Early identification of patients with risk factors for surgical treatment is important to decrease the need for intestinal resection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-485
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - 06 1994
Externally publishedYes


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