Visual diagnosis: an 11-month-old with nausea, vomiting, and an abdominal mass

Pediatr Rev. 2013 Dec;34(12):e47-50. doi: 10.1542/pir.34-12-e47.


Children with intussusception can present with a wide variety of symptoms, including vomiting, fever,lethargy, and abdominal pain. The classic triad of abdominal pain, hematochezia, and palpable abdominal mass is seen in a few patients.• Early diagnosis of intussusception depends on a high level of clinical suspicion in any child with non specific abdominal findings followed by appropriate radiographic or ultrasonographic evaluation and confirmation with a contrast enema.• Abdominal radiography, although an appropriate component of the initial workup for gastrointestinal symptoms, lacks the sensitivity to reliably exclude the presence of intussusception.• Because ultrasonography is a safe, sensitive, and specific test for the diagnosis of intussusceptions, it should be performed early whenever there is clinical suspicion of intussusception.• Contrast enema is the gold standard for diagnosis and first-line treatment of intussusception. There is an increasing trend for pneumatic reduction of intussusception compared with hydrostatic reduction.Intravenous placement, fluid resuscitation, and notification of the pediatric surgeon should be completed before contrast enema.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen*
  • Cecal Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Contrast Media
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Enema
  • Humans
  • Ileal Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ileocecal Valve / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intussusception / diagnostic imaging*
  • Nausea / etiology*
  • Radiography
  • Vomiting / etiology*


  • Contrast Media