Acute Abdominal Pain in Pediatric Patients

Dr. Kene

Editor: Omar Lopez MS3

Differential Diagnosis 


Peak in adolescence and young adulthood

Approximately 1 in 15 people develop appendicitis

Mortality rate is 0.1% but increases to 2% to 6% with perforation.

Appendiceal lumen obstruction leads to swelling, ischemia, infection, and perforation


Physical Exam


Diagnostic Criteria for Appendicitis in US

US Normal Appendix vs. Appendicitis:

Diagnostic Criteria for Appendicitis on CT

Abdominal CT showing Appendicitis:

Ultrasound Pros/Cons

Pros: Decreased cost, in comparison to other imaging modalities

Cons: Increased pain from transducer pressure

CT Scan Pros/Cons



Appendicitis Risk Prediction Models

American College of Radiology

ACR Appropriateness Criteria 

Suspected Appendicitis–Child


American College of Radiology

ACR Appropriateness Criteria

Suspected Appendicitis–Child