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Niger Postgrad Med J. 2019 Jul-Sep;26(3):169-173. doi: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_47_19.

An appraisal of the presentation and management of adult intussusception at a Nigerian Tertiary Hospital.

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Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Lagos and Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria.



Intussusception in adults is considered rare in surgical practice. It is the causative lesion in a small proportion of cases of intestinal obstruction and lower gastrointestinal bleeding. In the last decade, the incidence of adult intussusception appears to be increasing at our centre.


This study aims to document the pattern of presentation and management outcome of adult intussusception at our institution during the last decade. We also observed the occurring trends of this lesion.

Patients and Methods:

This was a 10-year retrospective study of consecutive adult patients with intussusception seen at our institution from July 2008 to June 2018. Information on biodata, clinicopathological features and management outcome retrieved from case notes and pathology records were analysed on a personal computer using SPSS version 23.


Twenty adult patients who had intussusception were seen during this period. There were 9 (45%) males and 11 (55%) females giving a male-to-female ratio of 1:1.2. The mean age of presentation was 45 (range 18-66) years. Clinical features were abdominal pain (85%), abdominal distension (80%), vomiting (70%), rectal bleeding (70%) and palpable abdominal mass (35%). Majority of patients (70%) presented with features of intestinal obstruction. Idiopathic intussusception (55%) accounted for more than half of the cases with the jejunoileal variety (30%) as the most common pathological type. One patient who had intussusception in the postoperative period was treated with manual reduction at laparotomy. Bowel resections were performed in the remaining 19 (95%) patients.


Adult intussusception is still uncommon in our general surgical practice. Bowel resection is the mainstay of treatment.


Adults; Nigeria; etiology; intussusception; management

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