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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1996 Nov;167(5):1237-41.

Sonographically guided hydrostatic reduction of childhood intussusception using Hartmann's solution.

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Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong.



Currently, the standard methods for therapeutic reduction of intussusception in children involve considerable ionizing radiation. This study tested the effectiveness of sonographically guided hydrostatic reduction of intussusception using Hartmann's solution, a fluid with near-physiologic composition.


Between March 1, 1994, and January 31, 1996, all children clinically suspected of having intussusception were evaluated by sonography. Those with positive findings on sonography were entered into the study and underwent confirmatory sonographically guided meglumine diatrizoate enema. During continuous sonographic monitoring, we used Hartmann's solution for attempted reduction of intussusception. Criteria for successful reduction were disappearance of the intussusceptum and passage of fluid through the ileocecal valve. Another sonographically guided meglumine diatrizoate enema was used to confirm successful reduction.


We detected 25 consecutive intussusceptions in 22 patients. The patients were 12 girls and 10 boys, with a mean age of 14 months (range, 1-72 months). Sonograms revealed in all patients doughnut or pseudokidney signs or both. The sites of intussusception were the transverse colon (17 of 25), hepatic flexure (4 of 25), ascending colon (2 of 25), splenic flexure (1 of 25), and descending colon (1 of 25). Other findings were dilated fluid-filled small bowel (11 of 25) and free intraperitoneal fluid (9 of 25). The success rate of our sonographically guided attempts at hydrostatic reduction was 76% (19 of 25). Success was proven by meglumine diatrizoate enema in all 19 patients. The mean time of the reduction procedure was 18 min (range, 2-45 min). No complications occurred. All six patients in whom hydrostatic reduction was unsuccessful underwent surgery. Five of these patients had ileoileocolic intussusceptions. On sonography, when surrounded by fluid, ileoileocolic intussusceptions had a typically complex, fronded appearance. The remaining patient in whom hydrostatic reduction was unsuccessful had ileocolic intussusception. Of six ileoileocolic intussusceptions, one was hydrostatically reduced and a second was converted into an ileoileal intussusception before requiring surgery. The other four intussusceptions were surgically treated.


Our data suggest that sonographically guided hydrostatic reduction with Hartmann's solution can be used to treat ileocolic intussusception and to diagnose ileoileocolic intussusception.

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