OBJECTIVE: To identify the spectrum of diseases leading to acute abdomen in local population,
presenting in a surgical unit.
DESIGN: Retrospective study.
SETTING: Department of Surgery Unit-II Chandka Medical College Teaching Hospital Larkana.
DURATION: A period of three years, from July 2004 to June 2007.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: All patients presenting with non-traumatic acute abdominal pain
were included in the study. Patients presenting with gynecological and urological causes were
excluded. Their presentation, diagnosis and management were recorded from their case files
and OT registers.
RESULTS: During the period under review, a total of 586 patients presented with non-traumatic
acute abdomen; of which there were 412 (70.30%) males and 174 (29.69%) females, with a male
to female ratio of 2.3:1. The highest incidence of acute abdomen 163 (27.81%) was found in patients
of 21-30 years age group, followed by under 20 age group 150 (25.59%) and 30-40 years
age group 101 (17.23%). The most common cause of acute abdomen was acute appendicitis accounting
for 205 (35%) admissions. These patients were mostly young males in teens and twenties.
Intestinal obstruction was second leading cause accounting for 167 (28.5%) cases and this
affected more commonly the middle aged persons. Five hundred and twelve (87.37%) patients
were treated successfully and discharged home while 3% left against medical advice. Mortality
was 9.55% and it was highest in patients presenting with perforation peritonitis.
CONCLUSION: The most common cause of acute abdomen in this study was acute appendicitis
affecting young population. This was followed by intestinal obstruction and gut perforation.
Acute cholecystitis commonly affects the middle aged, post-menopausal women. Pancreatitis is
a rare cause of acute abdomen in this area.
Acute abdomen. Non-traumatic. Acute appendicectomy. Intestinal obstruction.