What is the pathophysiology of idiopathic intussusception?

Updated: Dec 20, 2018
  • Author: A Alfred Chahine, MD; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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In most infants and toddlers with intussusception, the etiology is unclear. This group is believed to have idiopathic intussusception. One theory to explain the possible etiology of idiopathic intussusception is that it occurs because of an enlarged Peyer patch; this hypothesis is derived from 3 observations: (1) often, the illness is preceded by an upper respiratory infection, (2) the ileocolic region has the highest concentration of lymph nodes in the mesentery, and (3) enlarged lymph nodes are often observed in patients who require surgery. Whether the enlarged Peyer patch is a reaction to the intussusception or a cause of it is unclear.

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