Acute appendicitis in children: emergency department diagnosis and management

Ann Emerg Med. 2000 Jul;36(1):39-51. doi: 10.1067/mem.2000.105658.


Early diagnosis of appendicitis in infants and children can prevent perforation, abscess formation, and postoperative complications, and can decrease cost by shortening hospitalizations. This article reviews the epidemiology, physiology, and age-specific clinical presentation of childhood appendicitis. The accuracy of diagnostic adjuncts is reviewed, as are strategies for avoiding misdiagnosis and improving emergency department evaluation and management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Appendicitis / diagnosis*
  • Appendicitis / epidemiology
  • Appendicitis / surgery
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Emergency Service, Hospital* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • United States / epidemiology