Pediatric Appendicitis

Acute appendicitis is the most common surgical emergency in children and diagnosis is often challenging.A classic presentation is often lacking in children, who may present with vague and nonspecific signs and symptoms that mimic common conditions, such as gastroenteritis. Imaging strategies to aid in the diagnosis of appendicitis include Ultrasound, CT and MRI.Providers must consider if imaging is necessary, and if so, the strengths and limitations of each modality, including potential cancer risk from radiation exposure. The EvidenceCare Pediatric Appendicitis Pathway helps providers risk stratify patients to improve decision making.The Alvarado score, Pediatric Appendicitis Score, Harbor-UCLA Clinical Practice Guideline and Clinical Gestalt are all considered in risk stratification and management of suspected appendicitis.

Genevieve Santillanes, MD
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