Appendicitis is the most common surgical diagnosis for children who present with abdominal pain to the emergency department. However, there are nonspecific examination findings and variable historical features during its presentation. Diagnosis of appendicitis in the pediatric patient may be challenging for the clinician dealing with these children. It is important to have a high index of suspicion and taking a detailed history and physical examination. In diagnosis of appendicitis, adjunctive studies that may be useful are the white blood cell count, C-reactive protein, urinalysis, ultrasonography and computerized tomography when necessary. When appendicitis is suspected, patients should receive immediate surgical consultation, as well as volume replacement and antibiotics if indicated. The most accurate diagnostic tool is perhaps the serial examinations by the same examiner. With this timely approach, it will be possible to prevent the significant morbidity that is associated with delayed diagnoses in younger patients.
Part of the book: Current Issues in the Diagnostics and Treatment of Acute Appendicitis