Intestinal intussusception

The introduction of one section of the intestine into another with subsequently developing obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract is called intestinal invagination. A sudden growing pain can signal an unpleasant illness.

It lasts, as a rule, 4–5 minutes, and appears again after 15–20 minutes. When diagnosing, the patient is sent for abdominal ultrasound and x-ray examination. Intestinal invagination is a serious ailment and requires immediate treatment.

Description of the disease

Quite often infants suffer from intestinal invagination. Babies are most susceptible to the disease, especially boys 5-6 months old, when young parents begin to administer the first lure. In adults or children whose age exceeds 2 years, intussusception has mechanical prerequisites. The main risk factors that can provoke the development of intussusception should include:

  • infancy;
  • the presence of viral intestinal infections that cause hypertrophy of Peyer’s plaques;
  • male gender;
  • the first months of the introduction of complementary foods;
  • burden of family history;
  • negative living conditions.


According to developmental reasons, specialists distinguish primary type of intussusception, in which visible etiological factors are not observed, of the secondary type, accompanied by previous bowel lesions, such as a tumor and polyps. According to the localization of the pathological process, intussusception is divided into:

  • on colonic type;
  • small intestine;
  • large intestinal;
  • gastrointestinal;
  • invagination of the intestinal loop through the stoma and fistulous course.

An ailment occurring in the direction of the peristaltic wave can be defined as isoperistaltic or descending. With the introduction of intussusception in the opposite direction, the ailment is defined as anti-peristaltic or ascending.


Quite often, intestinal invagination occurs due to the inflammatory process of the gastrointestinal mucosa or the common cold. An intestinal upset can also provoke the introduction of the first lure, which is saturated with fruit and vegetable elements. In this case, increased motility of the digestive organ is provoked and one section of the intestine is introduced into another.

In children whose age exceeds 2 years, the ailment is provoked by an anomaly of the intestine and the development of such volumetric formations as lymphoma and polyp, Shenlein-Genoch disease, Meckel diverticulum. Also, cystic fibrosis, feeding with thick and rough foods, large portions of complementary foods that are given to the baby can cause invagination in the baby.


Among the primary symptoms of intestinal invagination, it is worth highlighting acute, cramping pain in the abdomen. Pain syndrome worries every 15–20 minutes. Perhaps the manifestation of vomiting from pain shock. The interval between attacks allows the patient to catch his breath and feel a little better. Soon intestinal ischemia develops. A sharp pain pierces the abdomen, which no longer releases. A child, much faster than an adult, wears out and becomes completely lethargic.

Hemorrhage begins in the mucosa. A bloody clot found in the feces can testify to this. On palpation of the abdominal cavity, the doctor discovers a sausage-type cord. The patient experiences pronounced pain, the muscles of the anterior abdominal wall are in constant tension.

In addition to the listed symptoms, the patient may be bothered by:

  • tachycardia;
  • dyspnea;
  • high body temperature.

The clinical picture of the disease may vary slightly depending on the age category of the patient, the duration of inflammation and the presence of other ailments. In infants, the disease begins rapidly. The kid for no reason pulls his legs, beats in hysteria. Fainting and blanching of the skin, vomiting may be observed.

It becomes impossible to calm the baby because of an acute pain syndrome. Paroxysmal pain can last 15–20 seconds. After that, the child begins to recover, calms down, and even falls asleep. However, after 15–20 minutes, a new attack introduces him into the same hysterical state. Remission is rapidly lengthening.

Important! In no case should you relax in moments of relief of symptoms. The abatement of pain only indicates that the process will go into a severe form. An ambulance must be called immediately at the first suspicion of invagination.

After 5-6 hours, any bowel movement has no distinguishing features from ordinary bowel movements. After a specified period of time, blood clots begin to appear in the stool. Gradually, feces become crimson or scarlet. After 11-12 hours, after the onset of the first symptom of the disease, the following signs of invagination appear:

  • the pain becomes permanent, as the infringement of the intestine begins to become inflamed;
  • the patient becomes lethargic and lethargic;
  • on palpation of the abdominal cavity, a node begins to be felt;
  • there is heavy bleeding from the rectum;
  • bloating appears;
  • gagging is observed;
  • with ruptures and attacks of invaginitis in the peritoneum, peritonitis can develop. Only timely medical care can prevent this outcome.

Complications begin to develop, 24 hours after the first attack of the disease. In boys whose age exceeds 3 years, colonic invagination often occurs, which develops against the background of intestinal infection. The course of the disease is slightly milder than that of the enteric type of intussusception, however, despite minor pain, the bleeding is much brighter. Invaginate gropes on the left side of the peritoneum.


Therapeutic methods should be undertaken already on the first day of the onset of symptoms. After the patient is delivered to the clinic, the doctor directs him to enemas. In some cases, immediate surgical intervention is advisable. The method of therapy can be varied depending on the age category of the patient, concomitant ailments and the severity of the condition.

For the treatment of intussusception, enemas filled with air, barium and physiological saline are often used quite often. Enema helps increase pressure in the intestines. Thanks to this, the invaginant begins to straighten. Often such enemas are called reduction. In cases where enemas are used to control the state of the digestive organ, re-diagnosis of ultrasound will be required.

Unfortunately, enemas are not always effective. Efficiency may depend on the duration of pain. The longer the symptoms last, the less effective the reduction. The use of enemas is unacceptable in cases where the patient is diagnosed with an inflammatory process in the abdominal wall, as well as with perforation, intestinal gangrene, sepsis.


In order for the baby not to suffer from intestinal invagination, it is worthwhile to introduce complementary foods in a timely manner. For this, only high-quality products are selected. In no case should you force-feed a child and give food in large portions. With special care, vegetable and fruit dishes are introduced.

In case of signs of acute intestinal infection, you should immediately seek help from a pediatrician or gastroenterologist. With such problems, it is important to periodically examine the patient in order to detect a neoplasm or adhesion of the intestine. In order to control body temperature, it should be measured every 60–120 minutes.

At the first suspicion of intussusception, it is very important to call an ambulance on time. Do not self-medicate, which, of course, can be fatal. Intestinal invagination is a serious ailment that can only be cured with the help of a medical professional.

local_offerevent_note March 25, 2020

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