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Pediatric Intussusception

Intussusception is a medical emergency. If you believe your child has intussusception you should see your health care professional immediately.

What is Pediatric Intussusception?

Intussusception is an intestinal obstruction that occurs when one length of bowel “telescopes” into another.   This can be found in children of all ages, but most commonly occurs in children from 3 months to 3 years of age.

What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric Intussusception?

Common symptoms

Other symptoms

How is Pediatric Intussusception diagnosed?

  • Abdominal x-ray
  • Lower GI/barium enema
  • Ultrasound
  • Upper GI/barium swallow

What are the causes of Pediatric Intussusception?

Experts do not know what causes intussusception, but believe this occurs more often if there is a family history. There is a link to other conditions including viral infections, abdominal and/or intestinal tumors and masses, appendicitis, celiac disease, Crohn's disease and parasites. 

Intussusceptions in older children are frequently caused by polyps, diverticuli and occasionally serious tumors. 

How is Pediatric Intussusception treated?

  • Most intussusceptions can be treated by the radiologist with an air enema. This pushes the bowel trapped in intussusception back to it’s normal position.
  • A bowel obstruction from intussusception in an older child almost always requires surgery.


Pediatric Intussusception Doctors and Providers