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October 10, 1977

Recurrent Abdominal Pain in an Infant

JAMA. 1977;238(15):1630. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280160024012

To the Editor. —  In a recent QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS column, a physician from California inquired about the cause for recurrent abdominal pain in a 10-month-old infant (237:2535, 1977). In his reply, the consultant, Edwin Sumpter, MD, did not mention intussusception as a possible cause for the patient's symptoms. The intermittent character of the abdominal pain is very suggestive for this diagnosis.Interestingly, the editorial comment states that the "normal" barium enema seems to have had a curative effect. Perhaps the fluoroscopist inadvertently reduced an ileocolic intussusception during the course of the barium enema examination. The barium enema treatment of intussusception is well established,1 and the successful reduction of an ileocolic type is indicated by reflux of barium into the terminal ileum.2Based on the information provided by the questioner, it would be wise to repeat the barium enema examination if the infant has recurrence of his symptoms.