What are the symptoms of intussusception?

Updated: Dec 20, 2018
  • Author: A Alfred Chahine, MD; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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The patient with intussusception is usually an infant, often one who has had an upper respiratory infection, who presents with the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting: Initially, vomiting is nonbilious and reflexive, but when the intestinal obstruction occurs, vomiting becomes bilious

  • Abdominal pain: Pain in intussusception is colicky, severe, and intermittent

  • Passage of blood and mucus: Parents report the passage of stools, by affected children, that look like currant jelly; this is a mixture of mucus, sloughed mucosa, and shed blood; diarrhea can also be an early sign of intussusception

  • Lethargy: This can be the sole presenting symptom of intussusception, which makes the condition’s diagnosis challenging

  • Palpable abdominal mass

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