Altered Consciousness and Lethargy From Compromised Intestinal Blood Flow in Children

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Altered state of consciousness and lethargy could be early and cardinal complaints in diseases that actually originate within the abdomen. Thirteen children were seen at our departments in whom impairment of the individual's mental state preceded the appearance of common gastrointestinal symptoms. Whereas in infants with intussusception of childhood neurological signs and symptoms have been rarely mentioned, references to an altered state of consciousness and lethargy in volvulus, strangulation or bowel incarceration have not been previously reported. Recognition of this possibility, however, should be taken into account in the diagnostic work-up of children presenting with inexplicable alterations of their mental state.

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