To provide guidelines for the choice of treatment of intussusception, 10 factors that are known to be related to the outcome of treatment were studied in a series of 146 children with intussusception. The length of history, vomiting, rectal bleeding, small bowel obstruction, ileoileocolic intussusception, and the presence of a leading point were all significantly related to failure of hydrostatic reduction. Only 'rectal bleeding' and 'duration of symptoms of more than 48 hours' contributed significantly to the prediction of failure of hydrostatic reduction by logistic regression analysis. We believe that as well as the generally accepted contraindications--signs of peritonitis or bowel perforation--the presence of rectal bleeding when symptoms have lasted more than 48 hours is a contraindication to hydrostatic reduction.
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