Folia Medica 61(3): 389-396, doi: 10.3897/folmed.61.e39355
What are the Risk Factors Responsible for the Delay in Diagnosis of Acute Appendicitis in Children? Eleven-year Research from a Single Institution
expand article infoKaterina Kambouri, Maria Aggelidou, Savvas Deftereos, Aggelos Tsalkidis, George Vaos§, Michail Pitiakoudis
‡ Alexandroupolis University Hospital, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece§ Attikon University Hospital, Athens University, Athens, Greece
Open Access

Introduction: We conducted a retrospective analysis of 602 children operated on for acute appendicitis (AA) in our department between 1/2007 and 12/2017.

Aim: The aim of this study was to identify factors that are related to a delay in diagnosing AA in children. Furthermore, we’d like to strengthen our previous preliminary results by a) adding gender as a new factor and b) studying a much larger population.

Materials and methods: The time that elapsed from the onset of symptoms to the surgical intervention was associated with gender, age, obesity, use of antibiotics prior to diagnosis, and the initial examination by a paediatric surgeon or another physician. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression method (backward method) was applied.

Results: The diagnosis of AA was delayed by at least 48 hours in 287 patients (group A, 47.7%) and was made within 48 hours in 315 patients (group B, 52.3%). In multivariate model we noticed that boys who were examined by a paediatric surgeon and didn’t take antibiotics had decreased odds of having length of diagnostic period >48 hours, girls who received antibiotics compared to girls who do not use antibiotics are almost 12 times more likely to have length of diagnostic period >48 hours, the very young age has а main effect оn the diagnostic delay and girls who have been examined by other physician compared to females who have been examined by paediatric surgeon have decreased odds of having length of diagnostic period >48 hours.

Conclusions: Therefore, physicians examining children with abdominal pain must keep in mind the multiple causes of diagnostic delay that may exist alone or in combination, and which can lead to serious complications and lengthen the hospital stay. Performing repeated examinations and asking for advice from a specialist specifically for children who are a special category of patients, in areas where it is rather impossible to use imaging techniques, could be the key to correctly diagnosing and treating AA.

risk factors, delay, acute appendicitis, diagnosis, children