Testing & Diagnosis for Intussusception in Children

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How is intussusception diagnosed?

Your child's physician will obtain a medical history and perform a physical examination. Imaging studies are also done to examine the abdominal organs, and may include:

  • Abdominal x-ray- A diagnostic test that may show intestinal obstruction.
  • Barium or air enema - A procedure performed to examine the large intestine for abnormalities. A fluid called barium (a metallic, chemical, chalky, liquid used to coat the inside of organs so that they will show up on an x-ray) or air is given into the rectum as an enema. An x-ray of the abdomen shows narrowed areas, obstructions and other problems.

In some cases, the pressure exerted on your child's intestine while inserting the barium or air will help the intestine to unfold, correcting the intussusception.

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