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Changes in the presentation of intussusception

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      Abstract

      Intussusception is most often diagnosed in well-nourished 7- to 10-month-old infants, but may be overlooked in older children. From 1985 to 1991, we treated 118 boys and 62 girls ranging in age from 2 months to 15 years (average, 22.6 months). Thirty-seven percent were older than 2 years, significantly more than in earlier experience at this institution. Overall, children with intussusception had a less than average weight (P < .05). The majority of intussusceptions in all age groups were idiopathic. Seventy-three percent of the patients were treated successfully by barium enema. The presence of air-fluid levels on the plain radiograph decreased the success rate of barium enema reduction from 81% to 49%. Barium enema reduction should nevertheless be attempted regardiess of the age of the patient or the duration of symptoms, and routine surgical exploration is never recommended. (Am J Emerg Med 1992;10:574–576.

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