Acute appendicitis is the most common surgical condition of children. Differential diagnosis of an acutely inflamed appendix in children includes a vast variety of diseases which can present with the same symptoms and signs as acute appendicitis. It is an important factor for delay in diagnosis. Many scoring systems are being used to reach a diagnosis within time and to reduce the rate of negative appendectomies.
The purpose of this study was to compare both scoring systems (Alvarado and pediatric appendicitis scoring system) and to know which one is better to establish an early correct diagnosis of acute appendicitis in pediatrics, thus decreasing the morbidity and burden on hospital resources. Although many studies had been completed at the international level for comparing both of these scoring systems, the pediatric population in our region was still awaiting such an effort.
So a prospective cohort study was designed. A total of 180 patients were recruited with 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error. Every enrolled patient was awarded clinical scores according to both the Alvarado scoring system and the pediatric appendicitis scoring system. Patients having a score of 7 or more by both scoring systems were considered “seven or more than seven group” and their appendectomies were performed and histopathology reports were reviewed. Patients having a score of 7 in one system and less than 7 in the other/both were considered “less than seven group” and were admitted in the ward for further clinical evaluation and observation.
At cutoff 7, the Alvarado score showed a sensitivity of 85.5%, specificity of 70%, PPV of 96.5%, NPV of 33.3%, and diagnostic accuracy of 84.11% while the pediatric appendicitis score showed a sensitivity of 93.8%, specificity of 70%, PPV of 96.8%, NPV of 53.8, and diagnostic accuracy of 91.59%.
The pediatric appendicitis score (PAS) is superior in diagnosing acute appendicitis in the pediatric population than the Alvarado score as indicated by the values of diagnostic accuracy. So it can be a good diagnostic tool for pediatric patients presenting with clinical symptoms and signs of appendicitis.