Objectives: To review all paediatric patients with intussusception over the last 17 years.
Design: Retrospective case series.
Setting: A tertiary centre in Hong Kong.
Patients: Children who presented with intussusception from January 1997 to December 2014 were reviewed.
Main outcome measures: The duration of symptoms, successful treatment modalities, complication rate, and length of hospital stay were studied.
Results: A total of 173 children (108 male, 65 female) presented to our hospital with intussusception during the study period. Their median age at presentation was 12.5 months (range, 2 months to 16 years) and the mean duration of symptoms was 2.3 (standard deviation, 1.8) days. Vomiting was the most common symptom (76.3%) followed by abdominal pain (46.2%), per rectal bleeding or red currant jelly stool (40.5%), and a palpable abdominal mass (39.3%). Overall, 160 patients proceeded to pneumatic or hydrostatic reduction, among whom 127 (79.4%) were successful. Three (1.9%) patients had bowel perforation during the procedure. Early recurrence of intussusception occurred in four (3.1%) patients with non-operative reduction. No recurrence was reported in the operative group. The presence of a palpable abdominal mass was a risk factor for operative treatment (relative risk=2.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.8-2.2). Analysis of our results suggested that duration of symptoms did not affect the success rate of non-operative reduction.
Conclusions: Non-operative reduction has a high success rate and low complication rate, but the presence of a palpable abdominal mass is a risk factor for failure. Operative intervention should not be delayed in those patients who encounter difficult or doubtful non-operative reduction.
Keywords: Child; Intussusception/surgery.