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Intussusception in children: can we rely on screening sonography performed by junior residents?



Ultrasonography is an important tool in the screening and diagnosis of patients with suspected intussusception.


To retrospectively evaluate the accuracy and performance of junior residents and compare it to that of senior residents and staff radiologists.

Materials and methods

Between January 1999 and February 2003, 151 patients with suspected intussusception underwent screening US. The mean age of the patients was 13.8 months. Patients were divided into three groups according to examiner: staff radiologist, senior resident or junior resident.


Sixty-five patients had both US and air enema. Forty-four patients had a positive US result; 37 (84%) were true positive and 7 (16%) were false positive. Twenty-one patients had a negative US result; 18 (86%) were true negative and 3 (14%) were false negative. Eighty-six patients underwent screening US only and were then kept under observation in the emergency room. They were all diagnosed as having a non-surgical condition. The total accuracy rate was 93%, sensitivity was 84%, specificity was 97%, positive predictive value was 93% and negative predictive value was 94%. Accuracy rate, sensitivity and specificity were 92%, 85% and 98% for staff radiologists, 94%, 75% and 96% for senior residents and 95%, 83% and 97% for junior residents, respectively.


Junior residents perform as well as staff radiologists in screening US for suspected intussusception and have gained both the respect and confidence of the paediatricians.

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Correspondence to Iris Eshed.

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Eshed, I., Gorenstein, A., Serour, F. et al. Intussusception in children: can we rely on screening sonography performed by junior residents?. Pediatr Radiol 34, 134–137 (2004).

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  • Intussusception
  • Ultrasound
  • Education