Intussusception (cont.)

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Is intussusception an urgent problem?

Intussusception is an emergency and requires immediate attention

Who is at greatest risk for intussusception?

Most cases of intussusception occur in children between 5 months and 1 year of age. Boys develop the condition two times more often than girls. Intussusception can also occur in adults and older children, although it is uncommon.

What causes intussusception?

The causes of intussusception are not fully known. Most cases in young children are idiopathic, (meaning the cause is unknown), although some viral and bacterial infections of the intestine may possibly contribute to intussusception in infancy.

Intussusception is very rare in older children and adults. In this population, the causes are believed to be due to polyps or tumors, which are often referred to as the "lead point" of the intussusception.

Why is rapid diagnosis of intussusception important?

Early diagnosis and treatment of intussusception is essential in order to prevent injury to the intestine and the associated sequelae, including surgical removal of the bowel, sepsis, and even death.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/18/2015

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