Giovanni JE, Hrapcak S, Melgar M, Godfred-Cato S. Global Reports of Intussusception in Infants With SARS-CoV-2 Infection. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2020 Oct 22. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000002946. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33105341.
Idiopathic intussusception is a common cause of bowel obstruction in infants, presenting as refractory abdominal pain or mass, vomiting, lethargy, and currant jelly stool. Coronavirus disease 2019 is not well characterized in children, especially infants, but symptoms in children have included nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. From January to July 2020, intussusception was reported in 5 infants 4-10 months of age who had laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. All 5 infants presented with currant jelly stool and at least 1 other abdominal symptom, and none presented with respiratory symptoms. Four infants recovered but the fifth infant progressed to a critical illness and death. While an association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and intussusception has not been established, infants with symptoms consistent with intussusception may warrant testing for viral pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, especially if presenting to healthcare with a history of SARS-CoV-2 exposure or with signs and symptoms of COVID-19. More investigation is needed to determine whether intussusception is part of the clinical spectrum of COVID-19 in infants or a coincidental finding among infants with SARS-CoV-2 infection.