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JNMA J Nepal Med Assoc. 2008 Oct-Dec;47(172):193-6.

A study of abdominal pain in children.

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Department of Pediatrics, Kathmandu Medical College, Kathmandu, Nepal.


Pain abdomen is a common pediatric complaint that brings patient to the hospital in Nepal. Knowledge about its etiology and frequency helps in its evaluation and management. The present study was undertaken to find out the causes and their frequency of pain abdomen in Nepali children. Children with pain abdomen presenting at the emergency room and pediatric outpatient department of Kathmandu Medical College, Kathmandu from January, 2006 to December 2007 were clinically evaluated and investigated to find out the causes and frequency of their pain abdomen. The outcomes were tabulated and analyzed for interpretation. Of 444 patients attended, 356 completed investigations and came for follow up. Cause of pain abdomen was apparent in 117 (32.9%) only. 91.5% were medical causes, comprising predominantly of diarrheal diseases (28.3%), infantile colic (9.4%), urinary tract infection (7.7%) and acid peptic disease (6.8%). 8.5% causes were related to surgical conditions, which needed operative management. Secondary or extra-abdominal causes were found in 20 cases (17.1%). Pneumonia (2), functional (5), vulvovaginitis (2) and infantile colic (11) were predominant causes. Our study showed that the causes of pain abdomen in children were predominantly medical. Gastroenteritis was the most frequent cause. Secondary causes, including functional and emotional causes were infrequent. Small percentage needing surgical management formed a diagnostic challenge.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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