Article

World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 37, Issue 8, pp 1872-1877

First online:

Contemporary Management of Adult Intussusception: Who Needs a Resection?

  • Oliver A. VarbanAffiliated withDepartment of General Surgery, University of Michigan Health System Email author 
  • , Ali ArdestaniAffiliated withDepartment of Gastrointestinal and General Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • , Dan E. AzaguryAffiliated withDepartment of Gastrointestinal and General Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • , Bela KisAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • , David C. BrooksAffiliated withDepartment of Gastrointestinal and General Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • , Ali TavakkoliAffiliated withDepartment of Gastrointestinal and General Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

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Abstract

Background

Surgical resection is often recommended in adults with intestinal intussusception (AI) because of its potential association with malignancy. We provide a contemporary algorithm for managing AI by focusing on the probability of discovering a lead point.

Methods

This is a retrospective study of adult patients with computed tomography (CT)-confirmed intussusception who underwent operative management of AI between 1996 and 2011 at a single academic institution.

Results

Sixty-four patients were diagnosed with AI by CT scan and then managed operatively. The incidence of colonic (CI), small bowel (SBI), and retrograde intussusception (RI) was 14, 55, and 31 %, respectively. All patients with CI had a lead point, whereas none were found among patients with RI. Some 46 % of patients with SBI had a lead point. The probability of discovering a lead point in SBI was increased by past history of malignancy (RR, 3.7, p < 0.001), a mass seen on preoperative CT scan (RR, 2.9, p = 0.005), and age over 60 years (RR, 2.2, p = 0.07).

Conclusions

A pathologic lead point is likely with CI but not with RI. Patients with SBI who are over the age of 60 years and have a history of malignancy or a mass noted on CT scan have a higher likelihood of harboring a pathologic lead point.