Predictors of intussusception in young children

Nathan Kuppermann, Teresa O'Dea, Lee Pinckney, Cynthia Hoecker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Objective: To identify predictors of intussusception in young children. Design: A retrospective cross-sectional study. Setting and Patients: A consecutive sample of children younger than 5 years on whom contrast enemas were performed because of suspected intussusception seen at an urban children's hospital from 1990 to 1995. Methods: We evaluated historical, clinical, and radiographic variables. Variables documented in 75% or more of the medical records and associated with intussusception (P≤.20) in the univariate analysis were evaluated in a multiple logistic regression analysis. Variables retaining significance (P≤.05) in the multivariate analysis were considered independent predictors of intussusception. We used bootstrap resampling techniques to validate the multivariate model. Results: Sixty-eight (59%) of the 115 patients had intussusception. Univariate predictors of intussusception included male sex, age younger than 2 years, history of emesis, rectal bleeding, lethargy, abdominal mass, and a highly suggestive abdominal radiograph. In the multivariate analysis, we identified only 4 independent predictors (adjusted odds ratio; 95% confidence interval): a highly suggestive abdominal radiograph (18.3; 4.083.1), rectal bleeding (17.3; 2.9-104.0), male sex (6.2; 1.2-32.3), and a history of emesis (13.4; 1.4-126.0). We identified 3 of these 4 variables (all but emesis) as independent predictors in more than 50% of 1000 bootstrap data samples. Conclusions: Rectal bleeding, a highly suggestive abdominal radiograph, and male sex are variables independently associated with intussusception in a cohort of children suspected of having this diagnosis. Knowledge of these variables may assist in clinical decision making regarding diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-255
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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