Intussusception is a serious disorder in which part of the intestine slides into an adjacent part of the intestine. This "telescoping" often blocks food or fluid from passing through. Intussusception also cuts off the blood supply to the part of the intestine that's affected. Intussusception can lead to a tear in the bowel (perforation), infection and death of bowel tissue. Intussusception is the most common cause of intestinal obstruction in children younger than 3.
Hospital records of children under 2 years of age treated for intussusception between 1 January 2010 and 31 August 2013 at the Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore, India, were reviewed. Sixty-one cases of intussusception in children under two years of age presented at the hospital. An additional 16 cases of ultrasound diagnosed intussusception were identified through the active surveillance of a cohort of 1500 children participating in a rotavirus phase III trial in the same period. In the nonsurveillance group, median age at presentation was 214 days (IQR 153-321) with 52 events (85.3%) occurring in the first year of life. Cases were seen year-round with no definitive evidence of seasonality. Thirty-one (50.8%) intussusceptions required surgical reduction, 26 (42.6%) had pneumatic reduction and 2 (3.3%) barium enema reduction. Two intussusceptions (3.3%) resolved spontaneously. There were no deaths, all children were discharged after recovery. Active surveillance identified 16 children with a median age at event of 375 days (IQR 248-574). Nine (56%) children had small bowel or transient intussusception that resolved spontaneously
An enema is the first step in treatment. In fact, an enema that is used to diagnose intussusception may also help to treat it. Pressure from the air or fluid may cause the intestine to correct itself. The result of an enema treatment might not last, so patients usually stay in the hospital overnight for observation. Surgery is another treatment option. Intussusception surgery involves either a large incision or a small incision and a camera. This is called laparoscopic surgery. The type of surgery depends on the location and severity of the obstruction. Intussusception surgery may include removal of the affected section of intestine.