Recurrent Abdominal Pain in Children.

08:00 EDT 15th June 2018 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Recurrent Abdominal Pain in Children."

Recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) in children is defined as at least three episodes of pain that occur over at least three months and affect the child's ability to perform normal activities. RAP is most often considered functional (nonorganic) abdominal pain, but an organic cause is found in 5% to 10% of cases. Further workup is warranted in children who have RAP and fever, vomiting, blood in the stool, more than three alarm symptoms, or a history of urinary tract infections. Physical examination findings that should prompt further workup include weight loss or failure to grow; jaundice; costovertebral tenderness or back pain with lower extremity neurologic symptoms; liver, spleen, or kidney enlargement; an abdominal mass; or localized tenderness on abdominal examination. Workup may include complete blood count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein level, fecal guaiac testing, fecal ova and parasite testing, or urinalysis. Pregnancy testing and screening for sexually transmitted infections should be considered in adolescents or if there are concerns about sexual abuse. Abdominal radiography can be helpful for diagnosing obstruction or constipation. Abdominal ultrasonography identifies an abnormality in up to 10% of children with RAP who meet criteria for further workup, compared with 1% of those who do not meet these criteria. Functional abdominal pain is a clinical diagnosis and no workup is needed. Management of functional abdominal pain focuses on improving quality of life, reducing parent and child concerns about the seriousness of the condition, and reducing the disability associated with pain rather than complete resolution of pain. Although evidence is lacking for most pharmacologic treatments of functional abdominal pain, psychological therapies such as cognitive behavior therapy and hypnotherapy have been shown to be beneficial.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: American family physician
ISSN: 1532-0650
Pages: 785-793


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