Fast Five Quiz: Are You Prepared to Confront Intussusception?

Jaime Shalkow, MD


April 25, 2016

The hallmark physical findings in intussusception are a right hypochondrium sausage-shaped mass and emptiness in the right lower quadrant (Dance sign). This mass is hard to detect and is best palpated between spasms of colic, when the infant is quiet. Abdominal distention frequently is found if obstruction is complete. If intestinal gangrene and infarction have occurred, peritonitis can be suggested on the basis of rigidity and involuntary guarding. Early in the disease process, occult blood in the stools is the first sign of impaired mucosal blood supply. Later on, frank hematochezia and the classic currant jelly stools appear. Fever and leukocytosis are late signs and can indicate transmural gangrene and infarction. Patients with intussusception often have no classic signs and symptoms, which can lead to an unfortunate delay in diagnosis and disastrous consequences.

For more on the presentation of intussusception, read here.


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