Age at presentation of common pediatric surgical conditions: Reexamining dogma.

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OBJECTIVEThe commonly cited ages at presentation of many pediatric conditions have been based largely on single center or outdated epidemiologic evidence. Thus, we sought to examine the ages at presentation of common pediatric surgical conditions using cases from large national databases.METHODSA retrospective analysis was performed on Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project databases from 1988 to 2009. Pediatric discharges were selected using matched ICD9 diagnosis and procedure codes for malrotation, intussusception, hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (HPS), incarcerated inguinal hernia (IH), and Hirschsprung disease (HD). Descriptive statistics were computed.RESULTSA total of 63,750 discharges were identified, comprising 2744 cases of malrotation, 5831 of intussusception, 36,499 of HPS, 8564 of IH, and 10,112 of HD. About 58.2% of malrotation cases presented before age 1. Moreover, 92.8% of HPS presented between 3 and 10weeks. For intussusception, 50.3% and 91.4% presented prior to ages 1 and 4years, respectively. Also, 55.8% of IHD cases presented before their first birthday. For HD, 6.5% of cases presented within the neonatal period and 45.9% prior to age 1year.CONCLUSIONSOur findings support generally cited presenting ages for HPS and intussusception. However, the ages at presentation for HD, malrotation, and IH differ from commonly cited texts.

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