Ting Tiongco's essay in his book, 'Surgeons Do Not Cry,' where he described his pathology professor using the term 'currant jelly stool
' for infants suffering from intestinal intussusception (a folding in of the intestines).
While children may have the classic presentation of severe colicky pain, bilious vomiting, presence of currant jelly stool
, and lethargy, adults may also have a wide variety of symptoms.
Currant jelly stool
or rectal bleeding, an empty right lower quadrant (RLQ), and a sausage-like mass palpable in the right upper quadrant are other diagnostic clues.
Intussusception is a common cause of bowel obstruction in infants, in whom it presents with classical triad of symptoms and sign: Crampy abdominal pain, a palpable sausage shaped mass, mainly in the right quadrant and currant jelly stools
.  On the contrary, adult intussusception presents with a wide range of symptoms, often with a colicky pain and intermittent partial intestinal obstruction associated with nausea and vomiting.
The classic triad of palpable mass, vomiting, and currant jelly stools
is present in less than 15 percent of patients.
Passage of red currant jelly stools
occurred in 30 (60%) patients and fever in 14 (28%) patients.
This is followed by engorgement of the intussusceptum, edema and bleeding from the mucosa which lead to currant jelly stools. Finally, the arterial blood supply of the intestine gets compromised leading to necrosis, perforation and/or shock.
The clinical presentation having typical triad of severe intermittent abdominal pain, currant jelly stools and vomiting is seen in less than 20% of cases.
The classical triad of abdominal pain, palpable mass and passage of red currant jelly stools
described in children is seldom seen in adults.
The classical clinical trial of intussusception namely pain abdomen, palpable sausage shaped mass and red currant jelly stools
, is rare in adults.