INTUSSUSCEPTION is second in frequency only to appendicitis as a cause of acute conditions within the abdomen requiring surgical treatment in infancy and childhood. Although recognized since the time of Hippocrates as a pathologic entity, it still often presents a difficult diagnostic problem. Late cases in which the intussusception is found to be irreducible at operation are among the most trying ones encountered in the surgical treatment of conditions occurring in infancy and childhood.
A study of seven published reports on cases of intussusceptions, involving from 55 to 400 patients in each group, indicates that the intussusception was surgically irreducible in 12.4 per cent of the entire group.1 In the present small series of 21 patients the intussusception was irreducible in 2, or 9.9 per cent, at operation.
The principal factors which contribute to the frequency of irreducibility are (1) delay in diagnosis and corrective operation, (2) location of the