Comparative Study
Journal Article
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Delayed repeat enema in the management of intussusception.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the demographic and clinical characteristics of children with intussusception and failed initial air enema reduction who were managed by delayed repeat enema attempts and identify predictors associated with successful reduction.

METHODS: This is a retrospective cross-sectional study of children diagnosed with intussusception who received care at an urban 110-bed children's hospital. Patients who had failed initial enema reduction attempts under fluoroscopic guidance and had subsequent delayed (≥2 hours from the initial attempt) repeat enemas made up the study population. The primary outcome variable was success of delayed repeat enema reduction. Predictor variables included duration of presenting symptoms (≤1 day vs ≥2 days), gross bloody stools, dehydration, altered mental status, ileus per radiograph, time from initial to delayed repeat enema, and lack of partial reduction to the ileocecal valve with the first attempt.

RESULTS: During a 74-month period, 20 patients with 21 intussusception events managed by delayed repeat air enemas were identified. Of the 20 patients, there were 12 boys (60%). Distribution of race was as follows: 9 white (45%), 7 African Americans (35%), and 4 Hispanics (20%). Of the 21 events, the mean (SD) age at the time of intussusception was 14.4 (12.8) months, with a median of 8 months and ranging from 2.5 to 43 months. Of the first 21 attempted delayed repeat enemas, 9 (43%) were successful. Of the 12 unsuccessful attempts, 4 had a second delayed repeat enema attempt and 3 were successful. Overall delayed repeat enemas were successful in 12 patient events (57%). For the total 25 delayed repeat enemas, 12 (48%) were successful.Surgical reduction was performed in 9 patient events (43%). Of these, manual reduction was performed in 7 and surgical incision was performed in 2, with resection of a portion of the distal ileum. There were 19 ileocolic (90%) and 2 ileoileocolic (10%) intussusceptions. There were no pathologic lead points and no patient deaths.In comparing the successful from the failed delayed repeat enema reduction groups, there was no significant difference in demographic characteristics, clinical characteristics, or time from initial enema to first repeat enema. However, there was a trend toward a significant difference regarding the failed group having a greater rate of bloody stools, dehydration, or altered mental status. There was a significant difference for the degree of partial reduction achieved on the initial enema. For the successful delayed repeat enema reduction group, the location of the lead point of the intussusceptum after the initial enema was at the ileocecal valve for 9 patients (90%) versus 3 patients (33%) in the failed group. Although not significantly different, the successful versus failed delayed repeat enema reduction group trended toward significance regarding more patients with clinical improvement after initial enema (82% vs 43%).

CONCLUSIONS: With the coordinated care of emergency medicine, surgery, and radiology services, delayed repeat enema seems to be an option to consider in the management of clinically stable children who, on initial air enema, have partial reduction. Our study showed that the success rate of delayed repeat enemas was greatest when the intussusceptum was initially reduced to the ileocecal valve.

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