CEN IntussusceptionPerry Overton
CEN Intussusception Overview
Intussusception is a serious condition in which part of the intestine slides into an adjacent part of the intestine. This “telescoping” often blocks food or fluid from passing through. Intussusception also cuts off the blood supply to the part of the intestine that’s affected, which can lead to a tear in the bowel (perforation), infection and death of bowel tissue.
Intussusception is the most common cause of intestinal obstruction in children younger than 3. The cause of most cases of intussusception in children is unknown. Though rare in adults, most cases of adult intussusception are the result of an underlying medical condition, such as a tumor.
In children, the intestines can usually be pushed back into position with an X-ray procedure. In adults, surgery is often required to correct the problem.
CEN Intussusception – Signs and Symptoms
- Stool mixed with blood and mucus (sometimes referred to as “currant jelly” stool because of its appearance)
- A lump in the abdomen
CEN Intussusception – Causes
Your intestine is shaped like a long tube. In intussusception, one part of your intestine — usually the small intestine — slides inside an adjacent part. This is sometimes called telescoping because it’s similar to the way a collapsible telescope folds together.
In some cases, the telescoping is caused by an abnormal growth in the intestine, such as a polyp or a tumor (called a lead point). The normal wave-like contractions of the intestine grab this lead point and pull it and the lining of the intestine into the bowel ahead of it. In most cases, however, no cause can be identified for intussusception.
CEN Intussusception – Risk Factors
- Age. Children — especially young children — are much more likely to develop intussusception than adults are. It’s the most common cause of bowel obstruction in children between the ages of 6 months and 3 years.
- Sex. Intussusception more often affects boys.
- Abnormal intestinal formation at birth. Intestinal malrotation is a condition in which the intestine doesn’t develop or rotate correctly, and it increases the risk for intussusception.
- A prior history of intussusception. Once you’ve had intussusception, you’re at increased risk of developing it again.
- A family history. Siblings of someone who’s had an intussusception are at a much higher risk of the disorder.
CEN Intussusception – Complications
Intussusception can cut off the blood supply to the affected portion of the intestine. If left untreated, lack of blood causes tissue of the intestinal wall to die. Tissue death can lead to a tear (perforation) in the intestinal wall, which can cause an infection of the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritonitis).
Peritonitis is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. Signs and symptoms of peritonitis include:
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
CEN Intussusception – Treatment
Treatment of intussusception typically happens as a medical emergency. Emergency medical care is required to avoid severe dehydration and shock, as well as prevent infection that can occur when a portion of intestine dies due to lack of blood.
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