Abdomen Pain in Children
Have a low threshold for imaging and/or consultation, especially in preverbal children - Dr. Tim Horeczko
image by: Ellie's Warriors
A comprehensive differential diagnosis of abdominal pain in children of all ages can be soporific even for the insomniac. In this section we discuss a short list of critical diagnoses that should be considered. A comprehensive list is so ponderous as to be practically useless for an ED evaluation.
The diagnoses of most concern are those that require operative intervention. The three most common surgical conditions are appendicitis, incarcerated inguinal hernia, and intussusception.
When developing a differential diagnosis, consider the child's age. For example, intussusception is most commonly seen in children between 4 and 10 months of age, but almost never in adolescents.
Evaluation of pediatric abdominal pain can prove a diagnostic challenge. Children may be limited in their ability to give an accurate history. Parents or guardians may also have difficulty interpreting the complaints of small children. In many cases, the causes are benign with few long-term sequelae. However, some require rapid diagnosis and treatment in order to prevent significant morbidity or mortality. Consideration of the child's age helps narrow the differential diagnoses.
Be able to examine and recognise the cause of acute abdominal pain in all age groups.
Point-of-care ultrasound can be used to detect Meckel’s diverticulum as the underlying etiology of lower abdominal pain in pediatric patients.
Acute abdominal pain in children is one of the more frequent reasons for emergency room visits and pediatric surgical consultations.
Your Path to Meaningful Connections in the World of Health and Medicine
Connect, Collaborate, and Engage!
Coming Soon - Stitches, the innovative chat app from the creators of HWN. Join meaningful conversations on health and medical topics. Share text, images, and videos seamlessly. Connect directly within HWN's topic pages and articles.