Making a decision between acute appendicitis and acute gastroenteritis

Yi Ting Lu, Po Cheng Chen, Ying Hsien Huang, Fu Chen Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

7 Scopus citations


Acute appendicitis is one of the most common pediatric abdominal emergencies. Early diagnosis is vital for a positive outcome. However, it may initially present with diarrhea and vomiting, mimicking acute gastroenteritis, thus delaying prompt surgery. Differentiating appendicitis from gastroenteritis in a timely manner poses a challenge. Therefore, we aim to investigate the predictors that help distinguish acute appendicitis from acute gastroenteritis. We conducted a retrospective case-control study, evaluating children admitted due to abdominal pain with diarrhea. Subjects were divided into two groups according to the final diagnoses: acute appendicitis and acute gastroenteritis. We adopted multiple logistic regression analysis and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve to identify independent predictors of acute appendicitis and select the best model. A total of 32 patients diagnosed with appendicitis and 82 patients with gastroenteritis were enrolled. Five independent predictors of acute appendicitis included vomiting, right lower quadrant (RLQ) pain, stool occult blood (OB), white blood cell (WBC) count, and C-reactive protein (CRP). The revised combined model exhibited a higher degree of discrimination and outperformed the pediatric appendicitis score (PAS) model. In conclusion, our study was proved to be helpful for assessing cases with abdominal pain and diarrhea in order to more accurately distinguish appendicitis from gastroenteritis in children in a timely manner.

Original languageEnglish
Article number176
Issue number10
StatePublished - 10 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Abdominal pain
  • Acute appendicitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastroenteritis


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