What is the prognosis of intussusception?

Updated: Dec 20, 2018
  • Author: A Alfred Chahine, MD; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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The prognosis in patients with intussusception is excellent if the condition is diagnosed and treated early; otherwise, severe complications and death may occur.

The recurrence rate of intussusception after nonoperative reduction is usually less than 10% but has been reported to be as high as 15%. [17] Most intussusceptions recur within 72 hours of the initial event; however, recurrences have been reported as long as 36 months later. More than 1 recurrence suggests the presence of a lead point. A recurrence is usually heralded by the onset of the same symptoms as appeared during the initial event. Provide similar treatment for a recurrence unless the suggestion of a lead point is very strong (in which case, surgical exploration should be contemplated).

The recurrence rates after air enema and barium enema are 4% and 10%, respectively. Recurrences respond to nonoperative reduction in almost 95% of cases.

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