Pediatric Intussusception

Pediatric Intussusception


What is intussusception?

Intussusception is a medical emergency. If you believe your child has intussusception you should see your health care professional immediately. This occurs when a part of the intestine slides inside another part then folds into itself like a telescope.

Expanded overview

Intussusception is the most common cause in intestinal blockage affecting children between 3 months and 3 years.  This is rate in newborns, but can occur in older children and teens.

What is the cause of 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.

What are the symptoms of intussusception?

Common symptoms

  • Sudden, loud crying
  • Sudden, severe abdominal pain

Other symptoms

  • Bloody stool
  • Dehydration
  • Extreme lethargy
  • Red, jelly-like stool
  • Sweating
  • Swollen belly
  • Vomiting/vomiting bile

How is intussusception diagnosed?

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


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