Background. The first licensed rotavirus vaccine was withdrawn from use in the United States because of a low risk of intussusception. Consequently tests of new rotavirus vaccines will require some baseline knowledge of the rates and treatment of intussusception in countries where these vaccines will be tested. Therefore the objective of this study was to assess hospitalization rates and describe the epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of intussusception in Carabobo, Venezuela.
Methods. This study reviewed hospital data and clinical records of pediatric patients with intussusception admitted to eight hospitals in Carabobo between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 2001.
Results. For the 4-year period the average annual hospitalization rate for intussusception among infants (<1 year old) in Carabobo was 35 per 100 000 infants per year (range, 22 to 44), and intussusception was more common among boys (58 per 100 000 infants per year) than girls (29 per 100 000 infants per year) (P = 0.006). One of 67 cases occurred in the first 3 months of life (0 to 2), 55% (37) patients were 3 to 5 months old, 31% (21) were 6 to 11 months old and 12% (8) were ≥12 months old. Surgical reduction was required in 88% (52 of 59) of infants but only 1 required bowel resection. The monthly distribution of intussusception-associated hospitalizations showed no consistent seasonal pattern with the seasonality observed for patients hospitalized with rotavirus disease.
Conclusions. This study provides some data about the incidence of intussusception and its epidemiology in a developing country where current or future field trials with rotavirus vaccine will be conducted.