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Diagnosis and treatment of childhood Intussusception from 1997 to 2016: a population-based study


Objectives — Describe changes in the diagnostic approach and treatment for pediatric intussusception over two decades.

Study Design — Administrative universal healthcare data were used to conduct a populationbased cohort study of intussusception between January 1997–December 2016 in Ontario, Canada. 

A validated case definition was used to identify all patients (< 18 years) treated for intussusception in the province at community or tertiary care centers. Treatment modality was determined using physician billing data and databases linked at ICES; it was categorized as nonoperative alone, surgical alone, or failed nonoperative. Descriptive statistics, Cochrane-Armitage for trend analyses, and graphical and multinomial logistic regression were performed.

Results — Over 20 years, 1895 pediatric patients were treated for intussusception. Pretreatment imaging use rose from 57.5% to 99.3%. Nonoperative management increased from 23.4% to 75.2%. However, 43% of children who presented to a community hospital underwent immediate surgical management, compared with just 11% of children at tertiary centers (RR 0.39, 95% CI:0.25,0.62). Among children who underwent surgery, there was an increase in bowel resection over time (41.7% to 57.6%).

Conclusions — Over the 20 year period of study, pretreatment imaging became universal, and management shifted from predominantly surgical to nonoperative reduction in Ontario. The rate of surgical intervention remains higher in community versus tertiary centers.



Kolar M, Pilkington M, Winthrop A, Theivendram A, Lajkosz K, Brogly SB. J Pediatr Surg. 2020; 55(8):1562-9. Epub 2020 Feb 12.

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