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May 1994

Recurrent Intussusception: Risks and Features

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics (Drs Champoux and Del Beccaro) and Epidemiology (Dr Nazar-Stewart), University of Washington, and Children's Hospital and Medical Center (Drs Champoux, Del Beccaro, and Nazar-Stewart), Seattle, Wash.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1994;148(5):474-478. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1994.02170050032006

Objective:  To determine risk factors associated with recurrent intussusception (RI) and to characterize the timing, features, and complications of RI.

Design:  Retrospective chart review.

Setting:  Children's Hospital and Medical Center, Seattle, Wash.

Participants:  All patients with a diagnosis of intussusception who underwent barium enema as treatment for reduction between October 1, 1979 and December 31, 1990. Children with RI (N=23, seven with two or more recurrent episodes) were classified as the case group; children with a single intussusception (N=234), controls.

Results:  There were no statistically significant differences in age, sex, race, symptoms, duration of symptoms, or results of the physical examination between the case group and controls. Reduction of the initial intussusception by a barium enema occurred in 96% of patients in the case group vs 62% of the controls (odds ratio, 13.50; 95% confidence intervals, 2.10 to 563.4; P=.003). Only one of 33 episodes of RI followed an operative reduction. In comparing the first recurrent episode with the initial episode, there was a significant reduction in the proportion of patients presenting with lethargy (0% vs 30%; Fisher Exact Test, P=.009) or blood in the stool (5% vs 52%; P<.002) and a drop in the median duration of symptoms from 20 to 6 hours.

Conclusions:  Recurrent intussusception cannot be predicted by presenting features or symptoms; operative reduction due to a failed reduction by a barium enema reduces the risk of RI; and patients with RI have fewer symptoms with a shorter duration.(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1994;148:474-478)