December 1964

Retrograde Colonic Intussusception

Author Affiliations

Associate Surgeon, Mt. Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, Mass, Associate Visiting Surgeon, Fifth (Harvard) Surgical Service, Boston City Hospital (Dr. Joseph); formerly Chief Resident, First (Tufts) Surgical Service, Boston City Hospital (Dr. Moran).

Arch Surg. 1964;89(6):979-984. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1964.01320060047009

Intussusception is primarily a disease of childhood. Approximately 5% of all cases of intussusception occur in adults, and about 17% occur in the colon.1,2 Retrograde colonic intussusception in the adult is thus a rare entity, and the authors found in the English literature only ten cases similar to the one presently reported, which were documented and treated with surgery.

Historical Background  John Hunter in 1789 wrote, "when the introssusception is downward it may be called progressive and when it happens upward, retrograde."3 He did not specifically mention personal experience with any cases. Lockhart-Mummery stated that retrograde intussusception occurred only "in the throes of death" and then only in the small bowel.4 In 1918, however, Balfour5 reported a case of retrograde intussusception caused by a sigmoidal tumor. The intussusception was easily reducible but was observed to recur spontaneously, and resection with end-to-end anastomosis was performed. In a

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