Pediatric ileocolic intussusception: new observations and unexpected implications
Ileocolic intussusception occurs when the terminal ileum “telescopes” into the colon. We observed that ileocolic intussusception lengths are similar regardless of location in the colon.
To examine the uniformity of ileocolic intussusception length and its relationship to colon location, symptom duration and reducibility.
Materials and methods
We retrospectively reviewed ultrasound-diagnosed pediatric ileocolic intussusceptions initially treated with pneumatic reduction at the Mayo Clinic or Texas Children’s Hospital. We recorded demographic, imaging and surgical findings including age, gender, symptom duration, location of the ileocolic intussusception, reducibility with air enema and, if fluoroscopically irreducible, surgical findings.
We identified 119 ileocolic intussusceptions (64% boys), with 81% in the right colon. There was no significant relationship between ileocolic intussusception length and colon location (P=0.15), nor ileocolic intussusception length and symptom duration (P=0.36). Ileocolic intussusceptions were more distal with increasing symptom duration (P=0.016). Successful reductions were unrelated to symptom duration (P=0.84) but were more likely with proximal versus distal locations (P=0.02).
Ileocolic intussusception lengths are relatively uniform regardless of location along the course of the colon where they present. Our findings suggest that most of the apparent distal propagation of ileocolic intussusceptions is not caused by increasing telescoping of small bowel across the ileocecal valve but rather by foreshortening of the right colon. This implies poor cecal fixation and confirms fluoroscopic and surgical observations of cecal displacement from the right lower quadrant with ileocolic intussusceptions. The movement of the leading edge of the ileocolic intussusception during reduction is first due to “relocating” the cecum into the right lower quadrant after which the reduction of small bowel back across the ileocecal valve then occurs.
KeywordsChildren Colon Ileocolic intussusception Length Reduction Small bowel Ultrasound
The authors acknowledge the manuscript preparation assistance of Sonia Watson, PhD.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
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