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      Prospective validation of the pediatric appendicitis score.

      The Journal of Pediatrics

      Abdominal Pain, diagnosis, etiology, Adolescent, Appendicitis, complications, epidemiology, Child, Child, Preschool, Decision Support Techniques, Diagnosis, Differential, Humans, Infant, Prospective Studies, ROC Curve, Reproducibility of Results

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          To prospectively validate the Pediatric Appendicitis Score (PAS), developed on a cohort of children with abdominal pain suggestive of appendicitis, in unselected children with abdominal pain who present to the emergency department. Over a 19-month period, we prospectively recruited children 1 to 17 years old who came to our tertiary pediatric emergency department, with a chief complaint of abdominal pain of duration less than 7 days. PAS components included fever >38 degrees C, anorexia, nausea/vomiting, cough/percussion/hopping tenderness (2 points), right-lower-quadrant tenderness (2 points), migration of pain, leukocytosis >10 000 cells/mm(3), and polymorphonuclear neutrophilia > 7500 cells/mm(3). A follow-up call was made to verify final outcome. Sensitivity, specificity, and the receiver operating characteristic curve of the PAS with respect to diagnosis of appendicitis were calculated. We collected data on 849 children. 123 (14.5%) had pathologic study-proven appendicitis. Mean (median, range) score for children with appendicitis and without appendicitis was 7.0 (7, 2-10) and 1.9 (1, 0-9), respectively. If a cutoff PAS of or=7 was used to take children to the operating room without further investigation, only 29 (4%) would not have appendicitis. For the PAS the area under the receiver operator curve was 0.95. The PAS is useful, because a value or=7 (found in 61% of children with appendicitis) has a high validity for predicting the presence of appendicitis. Children with PAS of 3 to 6 (37% with appendicitis and 23% without appendicitis in this study) should undergo further investigation such as observation, ultrasonography, or computed tomography.

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