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What is Intussusception?

Intussusception is a condition in which one segment of intestine slide into adjacent part of intestine, causing an intestinal obstruction (blockage). The obstruction can cause swelling and inflammation that can lead to intestinal injury.

To take note, it is the most common abdominal emergency in early childhood, particularly in children younger than two years of age. The image above is an ultrasound findings of a 6 month old baby presented with lethargy, yellow greenish vomiting, current jelly stool, abdominal pain and slight raised body temperature.

With early diagnosis, appropriate fluid resuscitation, and therapy, the mortality rate from intussusception in children is less than 1%. If left untreated, however, this condition is uniformly fatal in 2-5 days. 

Symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Passage of blood and mucus
  • Lethargy
  • Palpable abdominal pain


Abdominal pain of the baby can be fatal, do not ignore early signs or symptoms. Ultrasound can definitely help to diagnose the condition. Early diagnosis is life saving.

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Credit: Clinical Sonographer Dr. Yong Hua Bin, Ms. Nurul Atikah Azizul

19 Nov 2022