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Pediatr Radiol. 2003 Feb;33(2):79-85. Epub 2002 Nov 19.

Intussusception. Part 1: a review of diagnostic approaches.

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  • 1Department of Diagnostic Imaging, The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X8, Canada.


The vast majority of symptomatic intussusceptions in children arise in the ileum and are either ileocolic or ileoileocolic. The clinical diagnosis of these "idiopathic" intussusceptions may be difficult to make. Failure to make a prompt diagnosis and initiate appropriate treatment may lead to bowel ischemia, perforation, peritonitis, shock and even death. The clinician, therefore, may have to rely on imaging procedures to diagnose or exclude the presence of intussusception promptly and accurately. The imaging diagnosis of intussusception can be made with sonography or plain abdominal radiographs or by contrast (including air) enema examinations of the colon. This article highlights the current concepts and some controversial issues related to the imaging diagnosis of intussusception.

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