Recurrent abdominal pain in children - A retrospective study of outcome in a group referred to a pediatric gastroenterology practice

Joseph Croffie, Joseph F. Fitzgerald, Sonny K F Chong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) affects a significant number of children each year. We reviewed our experience over a 2-year period to determine the outcome of patients who were referred for pediatric gastroenterology consultation. We identified 356 patients, 149 (42%) male and 207 (58%) female. All patients underwent a thorough interview and complete physical examination. Patients suspected of having irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) were treated as such without further initial evaluation. Others underwent an initial blood and urine evaluation. When these initial screening studies were negative, additional studies were performed including abdominal ultrasonography, radiography, and/or endoscopy of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract if the history suggested a possible diagnosis that could be excluded or confirmed by such tests. There was no identifiable diagnosis in 43.5% of the patients studied. IBS was diagnosed in 25.8% of all patients. Constipation was diagnosed in 3.7%. Miscellaneous causes, including GI mucosal lesions, and renal and pancreatic disorders were found in an additional 27% of patients. In a follow-up survey, more than 70% of the treated respondents were improved (i.e., their RAP had resolved or was markedly improved). We conclude that most children with RAP have a functional disorder. Patients with an organic cause for pain can be identified and treated in a cost-effective manner with carefully planned evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-274
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Volume39
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000

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Gastroenterology
Abdominal Pain
Retrospective Studies
Pediatrics
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Abdominal Radiography
Upper Gastrointestinal Tract
Constipation
Endoscopy
Physical Examination
Ultrasonography
Referral and Consultation
History
Urine
Interviews
Kidney
Costs and Cost Analysis
Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Recurrent abdominal pain in children - A retrospective study of outcome in a group referred to a pediatric gastroenterology practice. / Croffie, Joseph; Fitzgerald, Joseph F.; Chong, Sonny K F.

In: Clinical Pediatrics, Vol. 39, No. 5, 2000, p. 267-274.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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