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1. prolapse of one part of the intestine into the lumen of an immediately adjacent part, causing intestinal obstruction.
2. the reception into an organism of matter, such as food, and its transformation into new protoplasm.

Intussusception is one of the most common causes of intestinal obstruction in infancy. Most cases occur in children during the first year of life, and some cases occur in the second year, but very few thereafter. The condition may be caused by a growth in the intestine or by any condition that causes the intestine to contract strongly. Usually, the cause is not known. The condition becomes apparent when a healthy, thriving infant suddenly experiences paroxysms of abdominal pain, with vomiting and restlessness. The infant usually cries out with pain and draws the knees up to the chest. The abdomen becomes tender and distended as the obstruction progresses and a sausage-shaped mass is felt in the upper right quadrant. Stools appear red and jellylike due to the presence of blood.

Diagnosis is confirmed by barium enema, which in about 75 per cent of uncomplicated cases has a therapeutic effect, reducing the invagination by hydrostatic force. Surgical intervention involves manual reduction and, if a portion of the intestine has been irreparably damaged, bowel resection.
Intussusception. From McKinney et al., 2000.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


(in-dij?i-ta'shun) [L. in, in, + digitus, finger] Intussusception.
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