ObjectiveTo highlight a new phenomenon that we have encountered in children during the past 5?years. Children in this group have a pathognomonic clinical picture of sudden acute severe abdominal colic during which the child is continuously screaming for 1-2?min. All these patients were initially diagnosed on clinical and ultrasonographic grounds as acute intussusception. Careful interpretation of the radiological findings revealed faecal impaction of the terminal ileum and caecum.
DesignThis is a retrospective study looking at children presenting between 2009 and 2014 with acute severe abdominal colic pain. These were 11 patients aged 9?months to 5?years. We reviewed our experience in the management and diagnosis of these patients.
ResultAll patients were diagnosed initially as intussusception, which was confirmed by ultrasonography (US). US revealed an appearance mimicking intussusception, 3 cases of which were intermittent. This US appearance proved to be a hard stool filling the terminal ileum. In all patients, abdominal X-ray revealed stool at the right side of the colon filling the caecum. Diagnostic gastrografin enemas that were performed in four patients excluded intussusception and confirmed stool at the caecum and ascending colon. In none of those patients had contrast passed into the terminal ileum. There was dramatic response to fleet and/or gastrografin enemas. Five patients required a second dose of enema and two patients required three doses.
ConclusionsWe highlight a new phenomenon of severe abdominal pain caused by faecal impaction of the terminal ileum and caecum. Increased awareness of this condition helps to avoid unnecessary investigations and/or surgical exploration.