Outpatient management of intussusception: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Cristen N. Litz, Ernest K. Amankwah, Randall L. Polo, Kristen A. Sakmar, Paul D. Danielson, Nicole M. Chandler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Variability in management of intussusception after enema reduction exists. Historically, inpatient observation was recommended; however, there is a lack of evidence-based guidelines for this practice. Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis evaluating outcomes between inpatient (IP) and outpatient (OP) management after enema reduction was performed. The following databases were searched: PubMed, EBSCOhost CINAHL, EMBASE, Web of Science, and Cochrane Database. Data from an institutional review were included in the meta-analysis. Results: Ten studies of patients aged 0–18 years with intussusception who underwent successful enema reduction that reported outcomes of outpatient management were included. Overall recurrence rates were 6% for IP and 8% for OP (p = 0.20). Recurrences within 24 (IP: 1% vs OP: 0%, p = 0.90) and 48 h (IP: 1% vs OP: 2%, p = 0.11) were similar. There was no significant difference in the rate of return to the emergency department (IP: 6% vs OP: 14%, p = 0.11). Both groups had a similar rate of requiring an operation (IP: 2% vs OP: 1%, p = 0.84). Conclusions: Outpatient management of intussusception after enema reduction results in a shorter hospital stay with no difference in the rate of return to the emergency department, recurrence, need for operation, or mortality. The findings of the meta-analysis suggest that outpatient management may be safe and could reduce hospital resource utilization. Type of study: Treatment study. Level of evidence: III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1316-1323
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Ambulatory management
  • Emergency department discharge
  • Intussusception
  • Outpatient management
  • Pediatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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