Adult intussusception with perforation and secondary peritonitis. Case report

Cir Cir. May-Jun 2011;79(3):252-55, 274-7.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Background: Intussuception is an uncommon condition in adults. It is usually secondary to an organic lesion that may be malignant. The most common clinical presentation is as a partial bowel obstruction that requires surgical management. Preoperative diagnosis remains difficult; therefore, this paper presents a case report and a brief review of adult intussusception.

Clinical case: We present the case of a 24-year-old female with a 36-h evolution of lower abdominal pain with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and a previous episode 8 days earlier. Pneumoperitoneum was observed on chest x-ray and surgery was decided upon. Peritonitis due to ileoileal intussusception was found, caused by an inflammatory fibroid polyp with microperforations. Small bowel resection with end-to-end anastomosis was performed and the patient had an uneventful recovery.

Conclusions: Adult intussusception is an infrequent condition with nonspecific symptoms such as pain, nausea and vomiting. With more frequent use of tomography in patients with abdominal pain, correct diagnosis can be achieved. Treatment requires resection of the involved bowel without attempted reduction.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen, Acute / etiology
  • Anastomosis, Surgical
  • Female
  • Granuloma, Plasma Cell / complications*
  • Granuloma, Plasma Cell / diagnosis
  • Granuloma, Plasma Cell / diagnostic imaging
  • Granuloma, Plasma Cell / surgery
  • Humans
  • Ileal Diseases / complications*
  • Ileal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Ileal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Ileal Diseases / surgery
  • Intestinal Perforation / etiology*
  • Intestinal Polyps / complications*
  • Intestinal Polyps / diagnosis
  • Intestinal Polyps / diagnostic imaging
  • Intestinal Polyps / surgery
  • Intussusception / diagnostic imaging
  • Intussusception / etiology*
  • Peritonitis / etiology*
  • Pneumoperitoneum / etiology
  • Radiography
  • Young Adult