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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2016, Article ID 5623718, 10 pages
Review Article

Intussusception in Adults: The Role of MDCT in the Identification of the Site and Cause of Obstruction

1Department of Emergency Radiology, S. Camillo Hospital, Circonvallazione Gianicolense 87, 00152 Rome, Italy
2Department of Radiology, Second University of Naples, Piazza Miraglia 2, 80138 Naples, Italy

Received 11 June 2015; Accepted 10 August 2015

Academic Editor: Haruhiko Sugimura

Copyright © 2016 Viola Valentini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Unlike pediatric intussusception, intestinal intussusception is infrequent in adults and it is often secondary to a pathological condition. The growing use of Multi-Detector Computed Tomography (MDCT) in abdominal imaging has increased the number of radiological diagnoses of intussusception, even in transient and nonobstructing cases. MDCT is well suited to delineate the presence of the disease and provides valuable information about several features, such as the site of intussusception, the intestinal segments involved, and the extent of the intussuscepted bowel. Moreover, MDCT can demonstrate the complications of intussusceptions, represented by bowel wall ischemia and perforation, which are mandatory to promptly refer for surgery. However, not all intussusceptions need an operative treatment. In this paper, we review the current role of MDCT in the diagnosis and management of intussusception in adults, focusing on features, as the presence of a leading point, that may guide an accurate selection of patients for surgery.