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Ileocolic intussusception secondary to gastrointestinal stromal tumor in a 61-year-old

ileocolic intussusception secondary to g”>Case Report

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American Journal of Emergency Medicine

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Ileocolic intussusception secondary to gastrointestinal stromal tumor in a 61-year-old


Intussusception is a common emergency in patients age of 3 months to 5 years. In adults, the diagnosis is infrequent but must be considered in the clinical setting of abdominal pain and vomiting. We present a case of a 61-year-old woman presenting with epigastric abdominal pain and vomiting, diagnosed with intussusception secondary to gastrointestinal stromal tumor. Serial bedside ultra- sound examinations uncovered the diagnosis of intussusception, confirmed by computed tomographic scan during a paroxysm of pain. Intussusception has a much higher predilection for neoplasms in adults, with a high morbidity and mortality, so early recognition is critical in improving patient outcomes.

Intussusception is the internal prolapse of intestine into the distal bowel. Traditionally, a mass or “lead point” is pulled distally by normal peristalsis. Patients generally present with vomiting and paroxysms of moderate to severe pain, first occurring in short and infrequent intervals. The presentation often appears nonsurgical and can easily be misdiagnosed as gastroenteritis. Gone unrecognized, compressive Bowel ischemia and peritonitis can be fatal complications.

A 61-year-old woman with a medical history significant for hyperlipidemia presented to the emergency department with vomit- ing and Epigastric pain. Symptom onset was approximately 24 hours before arrival. She had 2 similar episodes earlier in the month, which resolved spontaneously.

On presentation, she was hemodynamically stable (vital signs: blood pressure, 114/78 mm Hg; heart rate, 75 beats per minute; respiratory rate, 15 breaths per minute; temperature, 36.7?C; and pulse oximetry, 97%). She initially refused pain medications. Focused Bedside sonography revealed gallstones without evidence of chole- cystitis. Later, the patient’s vomiting persisted, and her abdominal pain had increased, migrating to the right lower quadrant. Repeated Abdominal examinations confirmed increased tenderness in the right lower segment. The ultrasound was repeated but in the right lower quadrant, revealing concentric loops of bowel (Fig. 1) with a hyperechoic focus. Our differential diagnosis included intussusception and appendicitis with abscess. A computed tomography (CT) of the abdomen and pelvis with oral and intravenous contrast confirmed ileocolic intussusception (Fig. 2) corresponding to the abnormal bowel pattern noted on ultrasound. A partially calcified mass was identified as the presumptive lead point and concerning for malignancy.

The patient was admitted to the surgical service and underwent laparoscopic ileocolic resection with primary anastomosis of the ileum to the Ascending colon. Malignancy was confirmed, producing a final diagnosis of gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) within the

terminal ileum (grade, T2N0Mx). The patient had a successful recovery postoperatively and was discharged on hospital day 4.

Intussusception is a rare clinical entity in adults, only representing 5% of total cases of intussusception. In adults, symptoms can range from hours to weeks, with abdominal pain as the most common symptom [1]. adult intussusceptions differ from pediatrics as they are much more likely (90%-95%) to have an underlying trigger or lead point. Malignant lesions account for 25% of small bowel and 50% of large bowel intussusceptions [1]. Mortality of intussusception is based largely on the etiology of the lead point and not the intussusception itself. For benign lesions, mortality is 8.7% but increases sharply to 52.4% for malignant lesions [2].

Several imaging modalities are available for the diagnosis of intussusception with varying diagnostic accuracy. In 2 retrospective case reviews, ultrasound was found to have a diagnostic accuracy of 60% [3] and 64% [1], increasing to 91% of patients with a palpable Abdominal mass. The ultraSonographic findings in the transverse plane are that of a “target” mass with an outer hypoechoic rim and a central area of increased echogenicity. The longitudinal plane demonstrates alternating hypoechoic and hyperechoic layers resem- bling a “trident,” whereas imaging obliquely often demonstrates the “pseudokidney,” sign where the edematous wall mimics the hypoe- choic renal cortex, and the hyperechoic intussusception mimics renal sinus fat [4,5]. The “target” sign is found in intussusception but can also be seen with other Abdominal pathology. A more accurate “crescent-in-doughnut” sign (an even, outer hypoechoic rim with a central hyperechoic crescent) has been described [6,7].

Fig. 1. TransAbdominal imaging of the right lower quadrant, demonstrating hyperechoic central focus with concentric loops of bowel.

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Fig. 2. Coronal image of CT abdomen depicting intussusception in right lower quadrant with tumor lead point.

Computed tomography is considered the most sensitive radiologic method to confirm intussusception with the reported diagnostic accuracy of 58% to 100% [1-3,5]. The characteristic features on CT scan include an inhomogeneous “target” or “sausage-shaped” soft tissue mass with layering effect. The presence of a lead point, the configuration of the lead mass, the degree of wall edema, and amount of invaginated mesenteric fat affect the appearance of the intussus- ception both on ultrasound and CT [8].

Intussusception is a very rare presentation of GIST tumors, as they tend to grow extraluminal [9]. They account for less than 3% of all gastrointestinal malignant neoplasms and only 20% of enteric neoplasms. Only 25% of GIST tumors are found in the ileum and are frequently incidental discoveries on endoscopy or CT for other purposes [10].

Treatment of intussusception in the adult population is most often surgical resection without attempting reduction [11]. Patients with ileocolic, ileocecal, and colocolic intussusceptions or older than the age of 60 years should obtain formal resections with appropriate oncologic techniques, with the construction of a primary anastomosis between healthy and viable tissue [11,12]. Prognosis depends on

adequacy of resection, tumor size, mitotic activity, and location within the small bowel, with small bowel having worse prognosis [13].

Abdominal pain continues to be a diagnostic challenge for emergency physicians because of the wide differential diagnoses. Patients with intussusception may present with signs and symptoms consistent with Bowel obstruction only as the intussusception incarcerates. Given that intussusception has a much higher predilec- tion for neoplasms in adults, with a high morbidity and mortality, early recognition is critical in improving patient outcomes.

Christopher Gelabert, MD Jose Torradas, MD Mathew Nelson, DO

Department of Emergency Medicine North Shore University Hospital

Manhasset, NY 11030 E-mail address: [email protected]


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