PURPOSE: In this study, we tried to evaluate the clinical characteristics or circumstances that lead to unintentionally the delay in the diagnosis of intussusception or to the wrong direction that prevent the proper management early. METHODS: All the patients of intussusception with delayed diagnosis in the department of pediatrics or emergency room at Gyeongsang National University Hospital from 1990 to 2003 were enrolled and reviewed retrospectively. RESULTS: There were 8 boys and 6 girls and their median age was 8 months (range 2 months to 10 years). Their initial symptoms and signs were vomiting, seizure, diarrhea, lethargy, irritability, bloody stool, palpable abdominal mass, foul odor of urine and tachycardia. Clinical diagnosis or impressions at admission consisted of acute gastroenteritis, shigellosis and toxic encephalopathy, convulsive disorders, urinary tract infections, sepsis, abdominal mass and intestinal obstruction. Eight patients were luckily diagnosed due to the delayed manifestations of cyclic irritability or currant jelly stool. Six patients were not paid attentions for the possibilities of intussusception and diagnosed serendipitiously by the abdominal sonography or CT during the evaluation of the abdominal mass or distension. Only five of 14 cases (35.7%) were successfully managed by barium or air reductions. The other 9 cases needed surgical operations. CONCLUSION: Delayed diagnosis of intussusception arise when doctors initially diagnose the patients incorrectly due to the unusual presentations or when they overlook the newly arising symptoms or signs suggestive intussusception after the admission because they are ardently attached to the first impressions or initial clinical diagnosis.