Analysis of children with acute abdominal pain and other acute abdominal symptoms in the pediatric emergency department

  • Suat Biçer

Received Date: 23.09.2008 Accepted Date: 14.10.2008 Med J Bakirkoy 2009;5(3):96-102


The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence, associated symptoms, and clinical outcomes of children with acute abdominal pain and other acute abdominal symptoms who had been admitted to an emergency department.

Material and Methods:

Children who presented to the emergency department between September 2007 and March 2008 with acute abdominal pain and other symptoms of acute abdomen were enrolled in this study. A retrospective review of 185 charts of patients aged between 0-17 who presented with acute abdominal pain and possible acute abdomen to the Emergency Department of a Children Training Hospital over a 6-month period were evaluated. Patient demographics, presenting signs, and symptoms were documented.


Among 185 cases, 97 (52.4%) were boys, 88 (47.6%) were girls. The five most prevalent medical diagnoses were: gastroenteritis (16.2%), urinary tract infection (8.6%) and acute abdominal pain with uncertain etiology (8.6%), upper respiratory tract infections (8.1%); familial Mediterranean fever (7.5%). The most common surgical cause of acute abdominal pain was acute appendicitis (n: 6, 3.2%). Hundred and twelve children were referred to the department of pediatric surgery, but only 13 of 112 (11.6%) required surgical intervention.


The most frequently seen causes of acute abdominal pain were due to internal diseases. The ratio of the surgical causes were 10.3%.

Keywords: Acute abdomen, acute abdominal pain, child