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Differential diagnosis in children

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

The differential diagnosis of acute appendicitis in childhood includes:

  • mesenteric adenitis - often associated with an upper respiratory tract infection or a sore throat
  • Henoch Schonlein purpura
  • sickle-cell anaemia
  • Meckel's diverticulitis
  • cystic fibrosis
  • renal tract disorders eg urinary tract infection
  • liver and biliary tract disorders such as acute hepatitis or cholecystitis
  • pancreatitis:
    • pain often in central abdomen
    • if there is pain in the right iliac fossa then there will also be pain in the central abdomen
  • pneumonia - right lower lobe
  • constipation:
    • colicky abdominal pain and iliac fossa tenderness
    • the patient is afebrile and has a loaded colon
  • diabetes mellitus
  • infectious mononucleosis
  • haemolytic anaemia
  • torsion of right testes: if a young child presents with right sided abdominal pain then the testes should always be examined

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