Does this child have appendicitis? A systematic review of clinical prediction rules for children with acute abdominal pain. J Clin Epidemiol

Division of Paediatric Emergency Medicine, Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X8, Canada. Electronic address: .
Journal of clinical epidemiology (Impact Factor: 3.42). 01/2013; 66(1):95-104. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2012.09.004
Source: PubMed


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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    • "The use of a clinical score, based on patient history and examination, is one way to possibly improve the diagnostic procedure. There are several available scores, recently reviewed by Kulik et al. [11]. In this systematic review, the Alvarado score and the Pediatric Appendicitis Score (PAS) were considered the most reliable. "
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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
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    • "Detection of immature granulocytes by Sysmex XE-2100 has shown a sensitivity, a specificity, and an efficiency of 92%, 81%, and 83%, respectively [11]. Left shift, or neutrophilia, was considered present if neutrophils were >75% of the WBC count, as described by a previous study [12]. Demographic and clinical characteristics were compared between acute and perforated appendicitis groups using Fischer exact and t-tests for categorical and continuous variables, respectively. "
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    ABSTRACT: Acute appendicitis is the most common cause of abdominal surgery in children. Adjuncts are used to help clinicians predict acute or perforated appendicitis, which may affect treatment decisions. Automated hematologic analyzers can perform more accurate automated differentials including immature granulocyte percentages (IG%). Elevated IG% has demonstrated improved accuracy for predicting sepsis in the neonatal population than traditional immature-to-total neutrophil count ratios. We intended to assess the additional discriminatory ability of IG% to traditionally assessed parameters in the differentiation between acute and perforated appendicitis. We identified all patients with appendicitis from July 2012-June 2013 by International Classification of Diseases-9 code. Charts were reviewed for relevant demographic, clinical, and outcome data, which were compared between acute and perforated appendicitis groups using Fisher exact and t-tests for categorical and continuous variables, respectively. We used an adjusted logistic regression model using clinical laboratory values to predict the odds of perforated appendicitis. A total of 251 patients were included in the analysis. Those with perforated appendicitis had a higher white blood cell count (P = 0.0063), C-reactive protein (CRP) (P < 0.0001), and IG% (P = 0.0299). In the adjusted model, only elevated CRP (odds ratio 3.46, 95% confidence interval 1.40-8.54) and presence of left shift (odds ratio 2.66, 95% confidence interval 1.09-6.46) were significant predictors of perforated appendicitis. The c-statistic of the final model was 0.70, suggesting fair discriminatory ability in predicting perforated appendicitis. IG% did not provide any additional benefit to elevated CRP and presence of left shift in the differentiation between acute and perforated appendicitis.
    Journal of Surgical Research 04/2014; 190(1). DOI:10.1016/j.jss.2014.04.008 · 1.94 Impact Factor
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    • "The use of MRI thus avoids the concerning effects of ionising radiation. While scoring systems such as the Alvarado score are available to stratify the risk of the presenting patient, they have been shown to be inadequate in the prediction of appendicitis on their own [62, 63]. However, when combined with US, such scores have been shown to be useful in indeterminate cases [64]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Acute appendicitis is a common surgical emergency in the paediatric population. Computed tomography (CT) has been shown to have high accuracy and low operator dependence in the diagnosis of appendicitis. However, with increased concerns regarding CT usage in children, ultrasound (US) is the imaging modality of choice in patients where appendicitis is suspected. This review describes and illustrates the step-wise graded-compression technique for the visualisation of the appendix, the normal and pathological appearances of the appendix, as well as the imaging characteristics of the common differentials. • A step-wise technique improves the chances of visualisation of the appendix. • There are often several causes for the non-visualisation of the appendix in children. • A pathological appendix has characteristic US signs, with several secondary features also identified. • There are multiple common differentials to consider in the paediatric patient.
    Insights into Imaging 08/2013; 4(6). DOI:10.1007/s13244-013-0275-3
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