An intussusception is the invagination of a segment of the intestine into a contiguous portion of intestine. It usually takes place in a peristaltic direction, that is, the proximal segment invaginates into the distal segment. In occasional cases, the reverse is true—the so-called retrograde type of intussusception. Most intussusceptions occur in children less than two years of age and, as such, occur in the form of an acute surgical condition. Rarely does an intussusception occur in an adult. When it does occur in an adult, the symptoms are usually less severe and less dramatic in onset.
Ninety-six cases of intussusception occurring in adults have been encountered at the Mayo Clinic during the period from January, 1910, to January, 1955. It is the purpose of this paper to draw attention again to the occurrence of this disease in adults and to detail some of its characteristic features.
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