Intussusception is an extremely rare disorder in preterm infants. An infant of 29 weeks gestational age with this condition is reported and a retrospective analysis of 17 previously reported cases presented. In the reviewed preterm infants, risk factors for intussusception seemed to be multifactorial. Clinical features included severe abdominal distension (17/17), gastric aspirates (13/17), commonly bilious, bloody stools (10/17) and rarely a palpable abdominal mass (5/17). Diagnostic features were signs of small bowel obstruction on the abdominal radiographs. Signs and symptoms were similar to those seen in necrotizing enterocolitis, therefore difficulties in establishing a correct diagnosis led to an average delay of 7 days between the onset of symptoms and abdominal surgery, increasing the risk of developing a compromised bowel. Conclusion: The differential diagnosis of an intussusception should be considered in preterm infants with acute abdominal distension and tenderness.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)