Definition of Intussusception – children
Intussusception is the sliding of one part of the intestine into another.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Intussusception is caused by part of the intestine being pulled inward into itself. This can block the passage of food through the intestine. If the blood supply is cut off, the segment of intestine pulled inside can die.
The first sign of intussusception is usually sudden, loud crying caused by . The pain is colicky and not continuous (intermittent), but it comes back often, increasing in both intensity and duration.
Signs and tests
Your doctor will perform a thorough examination, which may reveal a mass in the abdomen. There may also be signs of dehydration or shock.
The child will first be stabilized. A tube will be passed into the stomach through the nose (nasogastric tube). An intravenous (IV) line will be placed in the arm, and fluids will be given to prevent dehydration.
The outcome is good with early treatment. There is a risk the condition will come back.
Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 4/26/2010