Intussusception in a Tropical Country: Comparison Among Patient Populations in Jakarta, Jogyakarta, and Amsterdam

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Intussusception is the most common cause of intestinal obstruction in young children, and high mortality rates remain a problem in developing countries. The purpose of this study was to describe and elucidate the differences in outcome become groups of children with intussusception in Indonesia, a developing country, and The Netherlands, a developed country.


In this retrospective review, 176 patients were studied in three types of hospitals. A comparison was made among children treated at a primary care rural hospital in Indonesia, at a secondary care urban hospital in Indonesia, and at a tertiary care urban hospital in The Netherlands.


Children in the rural community hospital in Indonesia were more severely ill at arrival and had a significantly longer duration of symptoms, an increased incidence of nonviable bowel, and a mortality rate of 20%, in contrast to a mortality rate of 3% in the urban hospital in Indonesia and no deaths in the Dutch hospital.


The mortality of children with intussusception in rural Indonesia is much higher than in urban Indonesia or in The Netherlands, probably because of delayed treatment, which results in more patients undergoing surgery in worse physical condition.

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