October 1, 2011

Intussusception Reduction

A "scout" radiograph before intussusception reduction procedure shows a soft tissue mass (arrows) in the right upper quadrant representing the intussusception. There is no free air.

Contrast enema for reduction shows the intussusception (arrows) in the right upper quadrant. It was successfully reduced.

  • Image-guided liquid or air reduction of intussusception is the treatment of choice
  • Contraindications for image-guided reduction = peritonitis, free intraperitoneal air due to perforation, in shock or sepsis
  • Choice between air, liquid, contrast enema reduction of intussusception depends on radiologist experience and local preference/practice. Most radiologists prefer to use air and it is now generally accepted as the technique of choice
  • Air pressure: between 80 and 120 mmHg
  • Contrast: bag positioned approximately between 3 ft and 6 ft above the patient
  • Reduction rate between 80% to 95%
Preparation for Reduction
  • Notify the referring physician and surgeon
  • Patient must be stable, well-hydrated and has no evidence of peritonitis
  • IV line in place
  • A large-bore needle at hand (if you use air reduction)
  • Perforation rates with air enema less than 1%
  • Recurrence 10% of cases

1. Daldrup-Link HE, Gooding CA. Essentials of Pediatric Radiology: A Multimodality Approach, 2010.
2. Hodler J, Von Schulthess GK, Zollikofer CL. Diseases of the Abdomen and Pelvis 2010-2013: Diagnostic Imaging and Interventional Techniques, 2010.

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