Open Access Research article

Intussusception among Japanese children: an epidemiologic study using an administrative database

Masato Takeuchi1*, Toshio Osamura2, Hideo Yasunaga3, Hiromasa Horiguchi3, Hideki Hashimoto4 and Shinya Matsuda5

Author affiliations

1 Department of Pediatrics, The University of Tokyo Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

2 Department of Pediatrics, Kyoto Second Red Cross Hospital, Kyoto, Japan

3 Department of Health Management and Policy, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

4 Department of Health Economics and Epidemiology Research, School of Public Health, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

5 Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Fukuoka, Japan

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Citation and License

BMC Pediatrics 2012, 12:36  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-12-36

Published: 22 March 2012



The epidemiology of intussusception, including its incidence, can vary between different countries. The aim of this study was to describe the epidemiology of childhood intussusception in Japan using data from a nationwide inpatient database.


We screened the database for eligible cases ≤ 18 years of age, who were coded with a discharge diagnosis of intussusception (International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision: K-561) between July to December in 2007 and 2008. We then selected cases according to Level 1 of the diagnostic certainty criteria developed by the Brighton Collaboration Intussusception Working Group. We examined the demographics, management, and outcomes of cases, and estimated the incidence of intussusception.


We identified 2,427 cases of intussusception. There were an estimated 2,000 cases of infantile intussusception annually in Japan, an incidence of 180-190 cases per 100,000 infants. The median age at diagnosis was 17 months, and two-thirds of the patients were male. Treatment with an enema was successful in 93.0% of cases (2255/2427). The remainder required surgery. Secondary cases accounted for 3.1% (76/2427). Median length of hospital stay was 3 days. Of the 2,427 cases, we found 2 fatal cases associated with intussusception.


This is currently the largest survey of childhood intussusception in Asia using a standardized case definition. Our results provide an estimate of the baseline risk of intussusception in Japan, and it is higher than the risk observed in other countries.