Common symptoms of acute appendicitis include abdominal pain, fever, and vomiting. The diagnosis of appendicitis can be difficult in children because the classic symptoms are often not present.
A delay in the diagnosis of appendicitis is associated with rupture and associated complications, especially in young children. Improvements in rupture rates have been made with advanced radiologic imaging. Appendicitis is a clinical diagnosis with imaging used to confirm equivocal cases. The definitive treatment for appendicitis is appendectomy. Key to any evaluation and treatment plan are the following: relieve the patient's pain and discomfort early and consistently; communicate with the patient and family about the plans; repeat the examination often; adjust the differential diagnosis as appropriate; and keep the patient for observation if a firm diagnosis is not made.