Dr. Perlstein received his Medical Degree from the University of Cincinnati and then completed his internship and residency in pediatrics at The New York Hospital, Cornell medical Center in New York City. After serving an additional year as Chief Pediatric Resident, he worked as a private practitioner and then was appointed Director of Ambulatory Pediatrics at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Intussusception is the telescoping of one segment of intestine into another
adjacent distal ("downstream") segment of the intestine. (The term
"intussusception" is pronounced "in-tuh-suh-sep-shun" with the accent on the
"in." It comes from the Latin "intus", within + "suscipere", to receive = to
receive within). Common mispellings of intussusception include: intususception, intussuseption, intersusception.
Intussusception is the most common cause of intestinal obstruction in
children between 3 months and five years of age. It is extremely rare in children
under 3 months of age or in older children and adults.
What happens during intussusception?
During intussusception, a segment of bowel (intussusceptum) telescopes into a
more distal segment (intussuscipiens), and drags the associated mesentery, vessels, and
nerves with it. This results in compression of the veins, followed by swelling
of the region leading to obstruction and a subsequent decrease in
blood flow to the affected part of the intestine. Almost 90% of cases affect the
ileocolic region of the intestine (where the small intestine meets the large
The compression of blood vessels in the involved intestine reduces the supply
of blood to the affected intestine. If the blood supply is greatly reduced, the
involved intestine may swell, causing an obstruction, or even die (become
gangrenous) and bleed. It also may rupture and lead to
abdominal infection and shock.
Reviewed by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD on 10/18/2012
Intussusception: Infolding (prolapse) of a portion of the intestine within another immediately adjacent portion of intestine, which predominantly affects children. Intussusception decreases the supply of blood to the affected part of the intestine and frequently leads to intestinal obstruction. The pressure created by the two walls of the intestine pressing together causes inflammation and swelling, and it reduces the blood flow. Death of bowel tissue can occur, with significant bleeding, perforation, abdominal infection, and shock occurring very rapidly.