Background: Acute appendicitis is the most common surgical emergency in children, but its diagnosis is sometimes difficult. The aim of this study is to evaluate retrospectively the Alvarado score in relation to the surgical management based on clinical judgment. Methods: Medical files of 232 children who underwent appendectomy at Makassed General Hospital from January 1997 till December 2006 were reviewed. Demographic characteristics, symptoms and signs, laboratory results and imaging findings for all children were recorded. Results: The positive predictive value of our clinical judgment was 86.4% and the negative appendectomy rate was 13.6% based on the pathology results. The reliability of Alvarado score in our population found a PPV of 80.7% and a negative appendectomy rate of 11.3%. A multivariate analysis revealed that anorexia, neutrophils left shift and rebound tenderness are significantly correlated with a correct diagnosis of appendicitis (p = 0.012, 0.023 and 0.046 respectively). Conclusion: Although, Alvarado score provides measurably useful diagnostic information in evaluating children with suspected appendicitis, we found that good clinical judgment remain the main stay of correct diagnosis of appendicitis.
acute appendicitis, clinical judgment, Alvarado Score Evaluation.