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J Surg Case Rep. 2012 Jun 1;2012(6):3. doi: 10.1093/jscr/2012.6.3.

Adult colonic intussusception: Surgery still the best option.

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University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.


Intussusception is the telescoping of proximal bowel wall into the lumen of a distal segment. Whilst it is common in children, intussusception in adults is rare, and predominantly occurs secondary to an underlying malignant neoplasm. Abdominal and pelvic computed tomography (CT) is preferred for detection of lead points and lesion localisation. We present the case of a 79-year-old female with a four-day history of colicky abdominal pain followed by obstipation and distension. CT demonstrated a rounded heterogeneous density protruding into the upper rectal lumen, and also left-sided colonic obstruction. Emergency laparotomy revealed a mid-sigmoid colonic mass intussuscepting into the rectum. Histopathology confirmed a T3N1 moderately differentiated colonic adenocarcinoma. Given the high likelihood of underlying malignancy, surgical reduction of the intussusceptum may be complicated by perforation and tumour spillage. En bloc resection using oncologic surgical principles remains the first line treatment.

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