Intestinal Obstruction in Children – Jordan University Hospital ( JUH) Experience

Hashem Al- Momani, Moh’d M. Saleem, K. Ghandoor, M. Abu Khalaf


Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the presentation, etiology, management, and outcome of intestinal obstruction in children at JUH over a 30-year span.
Methods: The medical records of all the children who presented with intestinal obstruction from January 1973 through July 2003 at Jordan University Hospital were reviewed retrospectively. The data obtained included: age, sex, clinical presentation, diagnostic investigations, mode of treatment, and results.
Results: Three hundred and six children (223 male, 83 female) presented with intestinal obstruction. Their mean age was 2.8 years (range 1 day to 15 years). The clinical features included vomiting (73.1%), abdominal pain (58.7%), abdominal distension (45.3 %), constipation (37 %), rectal bleeding (29.7 %) and abdominal mass (25.6 %). The causes of intestinal obstruction were: intussusception (109 patients), postoperative adhesions (58 patients), inguinal hernias (34 patients), anorectal malformation (31 patients), Hirschsprung's disease (21 patients), malrotation (18 patients), intestinal atresias and stenosis (7 patients), congenital bands (7 patients), Meckels diverticulum(5 patients), tumors (4 patients), other causes (12 patients ). Two hundred and forty four patients (79.7%) ultimately required surgical intervention. The mortality rate was 3.9 % and the post-operative complication rate was 13.4 %, the recurrence rate was 7.8%.
Conclusions: This study shows intussusception as the leading cause of intestinal obstruction followed by congenital anomalies and adhesions, whereas hernias are seen less frequently. The mortality rate is 3.9 %, the recurrence rate is 7.8% and the post-operative complication rate is 13.4%.


Intestinal Obstruction; Children; Preschool; Infant, Neonate; Postoperative Complications; mortality.

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