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1692 The Aetiology of Acute Abdominal Pain in Children 2–12 Years of Age
  1. N Kandamany,
  2. MB O’Neill
  1. Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Ireland


Background and Aims Abdominal pain is common in childhood. This study evaluated abdominal pain in children aged 2–12 to determine the frequency of aetiologies.

Methods Patients between 2 and 12 years presenting to the Emergency Department over a 5 month period, with abdominal pain were included. Patients with chronic constipation, previous abdominal pain and previous gastrointestinal surgery were excluded. Data was collected prospectively utilising patient’s charts and a pretested proforma on abdominal pain which contained diagnostic tips and prompts. Demographic data, referral source, symptom complex, examination findings, and diagnoses were noted. Patients with a diagnosis of constipation were followed up via telephone to confirm accuracy of diagnosis.

Results One hundred and thirteen patients were assessed .Aetiologies of abdominal pain were appendicitis 26 (23%), constipation 23 (20%), gastroenteritis 18 (16.5%), mesenteric adenitis 15 (13%),non specific abdominal pain(viral syndrome) 11 (10%), urinary tract infection 7 (6%), pneumonia 6 (5%), gastritis 5 (4.4%),acute asthma 2 (2%). Eighty four (75%) patients were referred by their family doctor. Patients diagnosed with constipation were contacted by telephone to confirm the diagnosis, with 18 (78%) agreeing.

Conclusion This study outlines the aetiology of abdominal pain in a paediatric population, three quarters of whom had been assessed by their family doctors prior to referral. Non gastrointestinal aetiologies need to be considered in the assessment.

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