Combination of Alvarado score and ultrasound findings in diagnosis of acute appendicitis in children

Tamer Abdelaziz Fakhry, Mohamed Shawky


Appendicitis is the most common cause of emergency abdominal surgeries in children. Ultrasound (US) has been proven to be a helpful imaging modality in patient evaluation, especially in children suspected of appendicitis. The Alvarado score is a 10-point scoring system for the diagnosis of appendicitis based on clinical data and differential leukocyte count. The aim of the present study was to evaluate a combination of clinical scoring (Alvarado score) and US findings for accurate diagnosis of appendicitis in children. The study was done in Menoufia University Hospitals from March 2011 to January 2013. 322 children with abdominal pain clinically suspected of having appendicitis were included in the study and clinically assessed to calculate the Alvarado score. Patients were referred to the radiology department for abdominal US. Among the 153 of the 322 patients who were operated on, 149 patients were diagnosed pre-operatively with acute appendicitis and 4 girls were diagnosed with complex ovarian cysts. Of the 149 patients diagnosed with appendicitis, the percentage of appendicitis was 93% (139/149) and 10 (7%) patients had normal appendix. The prevalence of appendicitis among the patients of the study was 43% (139/322). In conclusion, a combination of Alvarado scores and abdominal US is a good approach for the diagnosis of appendicitis in children to reduce the number of laparotomies for normal appendix. In the case of normal appendix or non-visualization of the appendix via abdominal US without a high Alvarado score, appendicitis can be safely ruled out. If it is proven as an inflamed appendix on US or a high Alvarado score, patient should be subjected for appendectomy without delay.


Alvarado, appendicitis, ultrasound

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