To determine whether childhood intestinal intussusception is associated with elevated plasma beta-endorphin levels, a series of patients was studied prospectively. Fourteen patients (age range between 3 months and 7 years) presented to two university pediatric emergency departments in Chicago with clinical symptoms and signs of intussusception. Venous blood (2cc) was withdrawn for plasma beta-endorphin determination, followed by barium enema. Plasma beta-endorphin levels were measured by radioimmunoassay. The mean beta-endorphin level of the 8 patients with barium enema proven intussusception was 14.1 ± 12.0 pg/ml. Two of these patients presented with marked lethargy and had beta-endorphin levels of 7.5 and 21.2 pg/ml. The mean plasma beta-endorphin level of the 5 patients with negative barium enema studies was 18.1 ± 10.0 pg/ml (P = 0.56). A sixth control patient had a plasma beta-endorphin level of 1569 pg/ml. In conclusion, childhood intestinal intussusception is not associated with elevated plasma beta-endorphin levels.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine