Clinical profile of children presenting with acute abdomen in a tertiary care centre of South Tamilnadu: a retrospective observational study


  • Jenish Rajma Department of Pediatrics, Velammal Medical College Hospital, Madurai, Tamilnadu, India
  • Arun A. C. Department of Gastroenterology, Velammal Medical College Hospital, Madurai, Tamilnadu, India
  • Jeyabalaji R. V. Department of Pediatrics, Velammal Medical College Hospital, Madurai, Tamilnadu, India
  • Natarajarathinam S. Department of Pediatrics, Velammal Medical College Hospital, Madurai, Tamilnadu, India
  • Mathevan G. Department of Pediatrics, Velammal Medical College Hospital, Madurai, Tamilnadu, India



Acute abdomen, Children


Background: Acute abdominal pain is a common presentation in both outpatient visits and emergency room. It can be organic or functional, medical or surgical. We did an observational study to evaluate the clinical profile of children presenting with acute abdominal pain <7 days duration and analyse the various medical and surgical causes for this clinical presentation.

Methods: Children <15 years presenting with acute onset pain abdomen <7 days with or without fever, vomiting, loose stools or urinary symptoms and admitted in pediatric ward were included in the study. Out of the 205 children enrolled in the study, 120 were males and 85 were females.

Results: Only 15.6% of cases were of surgical etiology requiring elective or emergency surgical interventions. Among the 173 children diagnosed with variety of medical conditions, the most common condition presenting with pain abdomen was acid peptic disease (16%) followed by acute gastro enteritis(14%) and Urolithiasis(13%). Increasing prevalence of acute pancreatitis and type 1 diabetes mellitus (13 cases each) in children were observed.

Conclusions: Long term follow up of children presenting with mesenteric adenopathy without other significant pathology is warranted to avoid unnecessary empirical antituberculous treatment. Our study helped us to identify the different spectrum of etiologies across the three age groups (1-5 years, 6-10 years, 11-15 years) and some diseases were showing male or female predilection.  


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