Intussusception

What is Intussusception?

Intussusception is a serious condition in which part of the intestine slides into an adjacent part of the intestine, causing an intestinal blockage that can cause swelling and inflammation, and cut off blood supply to the intestinal tract.  Intussusception can lead to a tear in the bowel (perforation), infection and death of bowel tissue.

What are the symptoms of Intussusception?

Intussusception causes severe abdominal pain and cramping.  In children, this may present with crying, screaming, and pulling legs up into the chest.  Intussusception can also present with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stool mixed with blood and mucous and lethargy.

What are the causes of Intussusception?

Intussusception affects children under three years-old more frequently than adults. An exact cause of intussusception is not definitively known. In some children, it is caused by a condition that the child is born with, such as a polyp or diverticulum. Cases of adult intussusception can be the result of an underlying medical condition, such as a tumor, or intestinal scarring or inflammation.

Intussusception often follows a viral syndrome or vaccination. The Vaccine Injury Table includes occurrence of intussusception following rotavirus vaccine.  According to the Vaccine Injury Table, symptoms of intussusception should manifest 1-21 days following rotavirus vaccination to bring an on-Table claim, although it is still possible to file a successful claim if symptoms do not strictly fall within this time period.

How is Intussusception treated?

In children, the intestines can usually be pushed back into position with a radiologic procedure involving liquid or air contrast enema. Alternatively, surgery may be required.

Recent Intussusception Case Results