Introduction Appendiceal intussusception is a rare condition in children characterized by an invagination of the appendix into the cecum to various degrees. The treatment is appendectomy; however since symptoms are not specific, clinical diagnosis is challenging and frequently only intraoperative. We present a series of five patients with appendiceal intussusception and discuss features that may direct the pediatric surgeon to achieve early recognition and provide optimal treatment.
Materials and Methods The database of a tertiary medical center was retrospectively reviewed for all patients treated for appendiceal intussusception during the period from January 1995 to January 2016. Data collected by chart review included demographics, clinical characteristics, imaging studies, surgical technique, and outcome. The findings were analyzed by descriptive statistics.
Results This series included five patients (two females and three males) with ages ranging between 27 and 42 months (mean: 35.2). Patients presented with intermittent abdominal pain (IAP, all five patients), alternate vomiting (three of five patients), alternate diarrhea (two of five patients), fever (two of five patients), and rectal bleeding (one of five patients). The average length of symptoms was 22.6 days. Eighteen diagnostic studies were performed, including abdominal ultrasound for all patients, barium enema for three patients with secondary ileocolic intussusception, and abdominal computed tomography (CT) for one patient. The average number of studies per patient was 3.6. In surgery, the appendiceal intussusception was found to be complete in four patients, whereas it was partial in the remaining patient. In all patients, appendectomy was performed with resection of a small rim of cecal wall due to marked congestion and edema in an attempt to decrease recurrence.
Conclusion The mainstay of clinical presentation is intermittent abdominal pain while patients may be completely asymptomatic between attacks. Appendiceal intussusception may act as a leading point to ileocolic intussusception and is frequently concealed by it. The treatment is appendectomy. Both pediatric surgeons and radiologists should be aware of this occurrence to provide adequate management and avoid complications.