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Radiographic Findings in the Diagnosis of Pediatric Ileocolic Intussusception: Comparison to a Control Population

Saverino, Benjamin P. MD*; Lava, Charlene MD*†; Lowe, Lisa H. MD, FAAP*‡; Rivard, Douglas C. DO*‡

doi: 10.1097/PEC.0b013e3181d6daac
Original Articles

Several previous studies have evaluated the usefulness of plain abdominal radiographs for the diagnosis of pediatric intussusception, although investigation of the most specific clues to diagnose intussusception has not been studied alone. The 3 most specific findings of intussusception include intraluminal mass or intussusceptum, nonvisualized air-filled cecum, and obscured liver margin or right upper-quadrant mass. In this study, a retrospective review of 73 known cases of intussusception with age- and sex-matched controls was performed. The cases were reviewed by 2 blinded, board-certified pediatric radiologists to aid in the determination of sensitivity and specificity. The sensitivity and specificity of plain radiographs to correctly diagnose ileocolic intussusception in pediatric patients compared with a control population were 77% and 97%, using a 50% or greater receiver operating characteristic curve cutoff.

From the *University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine; †Department of Radiology, Saint Luke's Hospital; and ‡Department of Radiology, The Children's Mercy Hospital and Clinics, Kansas City, MO.

Reprints: Benjamin P. Saverino, MD, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, 2411 Holmes St, Kansas City, MO 64108-2792 (e-mail:;

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.