Intussusception history and symptoms

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Sargun Singh Walia M.B.B.S.[2]

Overview

A positive history of abdominal pain, vomiting, rectal bleeding, and lethargy is suggestive of intussusception. Presentation of intussusception is very variable. Suspicion for intussusception should be kept on a high index, especially in children aged 3 months to 36 months (peak age of presentation). Obtaining history about different causes of symptoms like fever, exposure to toxins, and ill contacts. Common symptoms include pain, inconsolable crying (baby colic), drawing up of legs, vomiting, abdominal mass, bloody stools, and current jelly stools. There can be intermittent pain free intervals in between episodes of pain which can be confused with an episode of gastroenteritis. The classic triad of pain, sausage-shaped abdominal mass and currant jelly stool are only seen in 15% of initial patient presentation. Atypically patients might present with only abdominal pain and lethargy. Intussusception should be kept in mind in an infant presenting with lethargy or altered consciousness alone.

History

Patients with intussusception may have a positive history of:

Presentation of intussusception is variable. Suspicion for intussusception should be kept on a high index, especially in children aged 3 months to 36 months (peak age of presentation). But, intussusception might occur in other age groups as well.

Obtaining history about different symptoms is also important, such as:

Common symptoms of intussusception include:

The classic triad of pain, sausage-shaped abdominal mass and currant jelly stool are only seen in 15% of initial patient presentation[3][4]

Atypical symptoms

References

  1. Mandeville K, Chien M, Willyerd FA, Mandell G, Hostetler MA, Bulloch B (2012). "Intussusception: clinical presentations and imaging characteristics". Pediatr Emerg Care. 28 (9): 842–4. doi:10.1097/PEC.0b013e318267a75e. PMID 22929138.
  2. Losek JD, Fiete RL (1991). "Intussusception and the diagnostic value of testing stool for occult blood". Am J Emerg Med. 9 (1): 1–3. PMID 1985640.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 West KW, Stephens B, Vane DW, Grosfeld JL (1987). "Intussusception: current management in infants and children". Surgery. 102 (4): 704–10. PMID 3660243.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Yamamoto LG, Morita SY, Boychuk RB, Inaba AS, Rosen LM, Yee LL, Young LL (1997). "Stool appearance in intussusception: assessing the value of the term "currant jelly"". Am J Emerg Med. 15 (3): 293–8. PMID 9148991.
  5. Pumberger W, Dinhobl I, Dremsek P (2004). "Altered consciousness and lethargy from compromised intestinal blood flow in children". Am J Emerg Med. 22 (4): 307–9. PMID 15258874.
  6. Goetting MG, Tiznado-Garcia E, Bakdash TF (1990). "Intussusception encephalopathy: an underrecognized cause of coma in children". Pediatr. Neurol. 6 (6): 419–21. PMID 2073304.
  7. Singer J (1979). "Altered consciousness as an early manifestation of intussusception". Pediatrics. 64 (1): 93–5. PMID 450570.
  8. Kleizen KJ, Hunck A, Wijnen MH, Draaisma JM (2009). "Neurological symptoms in children with intussusception". Acta Paediatr. 98 (11): 1822–4. doi:10.1111/j.1651-2227.2009.01466.x. PMID 19673722.
  9. Sassower KC, Allister LM, Westra SJ (2012). "Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Case 12-2012. A 10-month-old girl with vomiting and episodes of unresponsiveness". N. Engl. J. Med. 366 (16): 1527–36. doi:10.1056/NEJMcpc1103563. PMID 22512486.