Does this child have appendicitis? A systematic review of clinical prediction rules for children with acute abdominal pain
ABSTRACT To systematically identify clinical prediction rules (CPRs) for children with suspected appendicitis and compare their methodological quality and performance.
Included studies involved children aged 0-18 years with suspected appendicitis identified through MEDLINE and EMBASE from 1950 to 2012. The quality was assessed using 17 previously published items. The performance was evaluated using the sensitivity, negative likelihood ratio, and predicted frequency of appendicitis diagnosis that would result if the rule was used.
Twelve studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria describing the derivation or validation of six unique CPRs involving 4,201 children with suspected appendicitis. Migratory pain, nausea or vomiting, and right lower quadrant tenderness were common predictors to all rules. Methodological quality varied widely. The most poorly addressed quality items were the predictor and outcome assessor blinding, predictor description, and reproducibility of predictor assessment. The most well-validated CPRs were the Pediatric Appendicitis Score (PAS) and MANTRELS (Migration, Anorexia, Nausea/vomiting, Tenderness in the right lower quadrant, Rebound pain, Elevation in temperature, Leukocytosis, Shift to the left)/Alvarado Score. Overall, the PAS validation studies outperformed the Alvarado validation studies.
The PAS and Alvarado scores were the most well validated but neither met the current performance benchmarks. A high quality, well validated, and consistently high-performing CPR was not identified. Further research is needed before a CPR for children with suspected appendicitis can be used in routine practice.
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ABSTRACT: To evaluate trends and factors associated with interfacility differences in imaging modality selection in the diagnosis and management of children with suspected acute appendicitis. We conducted a retrospective review of diagnostic imaging selection and outcomes in patients <20 years of age who underwent appendectomy at a single Children's Hospital from June 2008 to June 2013. These results were then compared with those of referring hospitals. A total of 232 children underwent appendectomy during the study period. Imaging results contributed to diagnostic and management decisions in 95.3 % of cases. CT scan was utilized as first-line imaging in 50 % of cases. CTs were preferentially performed at referring institutions (78 vs. 46 %, p < 0.001). Children were five times more likely to undergo CT at referring institutions (OR = 5.5, CI 3.0-10.2). Adjusting for demographics and Alvarado score, diagnostic imaging choice was independent of patient's clinical status. This study demonstrates that initial presentation to a referring hospital independently predicts the use of CT scan for suspected acute appendicitis. Further efforts should be undertaken to develop a clinical pathway that minimizes radiation exposure in the diagnosis of acute appendicitis, with focus on access to pediatric abdominal ultrasound.Pediatric Surgery International 02/2015; 31(4). DOI:10.1007/s00383-015-3669-0 · 1.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: With previous methods based on only age and location, there are many difficulties in identifying the etiology of acute abdominal pain in children. We sought to develop a new systematic classification of acute abdominal pain and to give some helps to physicians encountering difficulties in diagnoses. From March 2005 to May 2010, clinical data were collected retrospectively from 442 children hospitalized due to acute abdominal pain with no apparent underlying disease. According to the final diagnoses, diseases that caused acute abdominal pain were classified into nine groups. The nine groups were group I "catastrophic surgical abdomen" (7 patients, 1.6%), group II "acute appendicitis and mesenteric lymphadenitis" (56 patients, 12.7%), group III "intestinal obstruction" (57 patients, 12.9%), group IV "viral and bacterial acute gastroenteritis" (90 patients, 20.4%), group V "peptic ulcer and gastroduodenitis" (66 patients, 14.9%), group VI "hepatobiliary and pancreatic disease" (14 patients, 3.2%), group VII "febrile viral illness and extraintestinal infection" (69 patients, 15.6%), group VIII "functional gastrointestinal disorder (acute manifestation)" (20 patients, 4.5%), and group IX "unclassified acute abdominal pain" (63 patients, 14.3%). Four patients were enrolled in two disease groups each. Patients were distributed unevenly across the nine groups of acute abdominal pain. In particular, the "unclassified abdominal pain" only group was not uncommon. Considering a systemic classification for acute abdominal pain may be helpful in the diagnostic approach in children.12/2014; 17(4):223-31. DOI:10.5223/pghn.2014.17.4.223
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ABSTRACT: Background. This study aimed to evaluate Pediatric Appendicitis Score (PAS), diagnostic delay, and factors responsible for possible late diagnosis in children <4 years compared with older children who were operated on for suspected appendicitis. Method. 122 children, between 1 and 14 years, operated on with appendectomy for suspected appendicitis, were retrospectively analyzed. The cohort was divided into two age groups: ≥4 years () and <4 years (). Results. The mean PAS was lower among the younger compared with the older patients (5.3 and 6.6, resp.; ), despite the fact that younger children had more severe appendicitis (75.0% and 33.3%, resp.; ). PAS had low sensitivity in both groups, with a significantly lower sensitivity among the younger patients. Parent and doctor delay were confirmed in children <4 years of age with appendicitis. PAS did not aid in patients with doctor delay. Parameters in patient history, symptoms, and abdominal examination were more diffuse in younger children. Conclusion. PAS should be used with caution when examining children younger than 4 years of age. Diffuse symptoms in younger children with acute appendicitis lead to delay and to later diagnosis and more complicated appendicitis.12/2014; 2014. DOI:10.1155/2014/438076