Predictors of Positive CT Yield in Pediatric Patients With Nontraumatic Abdominal Pain

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Abstract

Objective

The use of abdominal computed tomography (ACT) for nontraumatic abdominal pain in the pediatric emergency department is increasing to a remarkable extent, and every effort should be made to select patients who would benefit from ACT. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical and laboratory predictors of positive CT yield in pediatric patients with nontraumatic abdominal pain.

Methods

The medical records of 739 pediatric patients who, between January 2009 and February 2014, underwent ACT for nontraumatic abdominal pain at the emergency department were reviewed retrospectively. These patients were divided into 2 groups: a right lower quadrant (RLQ) pain group and a non-RLQ pain group. The radiology reports were reviewed to determine ACT diagnoses. Univariate and multivariate analysis was performed to elicit independent predictors of positive ACT yield. Equations predicting the probability of positive ACT diagnosis were deduced from the regression equation in both groups.

Results

In the RLQ pain group, the most frequent ACT diagnosis was acute appendicitis, and in the non-RLQ pain group, enteritis was the most frequent diagnosis. In the RLQ pain group, sex, leukocytosis, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, and elevated C-reactive protein were significant independent predictors for positive ACT diagnosis. The number of synchronous predictor was significantly related to the proportion of positive ACT diagnosis. In the non-RLQ pain group, leukocytosis was the only significant predictor in multivariate analysis.

Conclusions

Factors predicting positive CT yield were sex, leukocytosis, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, and elevated C-reactive protein in the RLQ pain group and leukocytosis in the non-RLQ pain group.

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