Vivek M. Rege
Intussusception - Introduction
This is a surgical emergency and needs to be diagnosed early so that treatment can be given early with the least complications. Intussusception is the telescoping of proximal intestine inside the distal intestine.

Background: The gastrointestinal tract consists of stomach, small intestine and large intestine. Intussusception occurs when the proximal intestine telescopes into the distal intestine. As seen, the intestine has a mesentery that supplies blood to the intestine. When this telescoping occurs, a number of events can occur in sequence that give rise to an emergency. First, the intestine within intestine compromises the lumen of the intestine, leads to a narrowing and obstruction of the bowel. Since the mesentery gets pulled in along with the intestine, the veins in the mesentery get compressed between the two segments of the intestine-outer and inner. This gradually leads to venous outflow obstruction and congestion of blood in the bowel. Unrelieved, the arteries supplying blood to that intestine which is inside get compressed and blood supply to the inner bowel gets shut off and leads to gangrene. The exact etiology of why this happens is not very well understood, but, usually there is like a leading point that initiates the process like a polyp in the intestine, enlarged patch of lymphatics in the bowel. Also may be seen to occur soon after a viral cold or diarrhea in a child of viral origin.

Intussusception Intussusception 01/06/2001
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