Japanese guidelines for the management of intussusception in children, 2011

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The Japanese Society of Emergency Pediatrics has formulated evidence-based guidelines for the management of intussusception in children in order to diagnose intussusceptions promptly, to initiate appropriate treatment as early as possible, and to protect intussuscepted children from death.


Literature was collected systematically via the Internet using the key words “intussusception” and “children.” The evidence level of each paper was rated in accordance with the levels of evidence of the Oxford Center for Evidence-based Medicine. The guidelines consisted of 50 clinical questions and the answers. Grades of recommendation were added to the procedures recommended on the basis of the strength of evidence levels.


Three criteria of “diagnostic criteria,”“severity assessment criteria,” and “criteria for patient transfer” were proposed aiming at an early diagnosis, selection of appropriate treatment, and patient transfer for referral to a tertiary hospital in severe cases. Barium is no longer recommended for enema reduction (recommendation D) because the patient becomes severely ill once perforation occurs. Use of other contrast media, such as water-soluble iodinated contrast, normal saline, or air, is recommended under either fluoroscopic or sonographic guidance. Delayed repeat enema improves reduction success rate, and is recommended if the initial enema partially reduced the intussusception and if the patient condition is stable.


The guidelines offer standards of management, but it is not necessarily the purpose of the guidelines to regulate clinical practices. One should judge each individual clinical situation in accordance with experiences, available devices, and the patient's condition.

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