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Abdominal pain in children


There are various group of gastrointestinal diseases mostly presenting with abdominal pain. This session aims to provide guideline to approach children presenting with abdominal pain, specific conditions are discussed separately elsewhere in the ULY CLINIC website.

Acute abdominal pain accounts for approximately 9% of childhood primary care office visits. Symptoms and signs that increase the likelihood of a surgical cause for pain include fever, bilious vomiting, bloody diarrhea, absent bowel sounds, voluntary guarding, rigidity, and rebound tenderness. 

Table below shows selected Differential Diagnosis of Acute Abdominal Pain in Children by Age

abdominal pain approach in children- uly

Algorithm for the evaluation and diagnosis of acute abdominal pain in children. (β hCG = beta human chorionic gonadotropin; CBC = complete blood count; CRP = C reactive protein; ESR = erythrocyte sedimentation rate; STI = sexually transmitted infection.)​

Clinical Features of Selected Causes of Acute Abdominal Pain in Children

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Last updated on 24.08.2020


  1. American family physician. Abdominal pain in children. Evaluation and Diagnosis of Acute Abdominal Pain in Children. August 24.02.2020

  2. Mayo clinic. Broncholitis. conditions/bronchiolitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351565#. August 23.02.2020 

  3. Tanzania standard treatment guideline edition 2017. page 65-66

  4. Carson L, Lewis D, Tsou M, et al. Abdominal migraine: an under-diagnosed cause of recurrent abdominal pain in children. Headache. 2011;51(5):707–712. August 23.2020

  5. Saito JM. Beyond appendicitis: evaluation and surgical treatment of pediatric acute abdominal pain. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2012;24(3):357–364.

  6. Strohmeier Y, Hodson EM, Willis NS, Webster AC, Craig JC. Antibiotics for acute pyelonephritis in children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;(7):CD003772.

  7. Shaikh N, Morone NE, Bost JE, Farrell MH. Prevalence of urinary tract infection in childhood: a meta-analysis. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2008;27(4):302–308.

  8. American family phsician. Common cold. August 23.2020

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