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Changes in Incidence and Management of Acute Appendicitis in Children-A Population-Based Study in the Period 2000-2015

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INTRODUCTION:  Recent studies suggest that the epidemiology and management of appendicitis have changed during the last decades. The purpose of this population-based study was to examine this in the pediatric population in Denmark.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:  Data were retrieved from the Danish National Patient Registry, the Danish Civil Registration System, and the Statbank Denmark. Patients aged 0 to 17 years diagnosed with appendicitis and appendectomized during the period 2000 to 2015 were included. The primary outcome was the annual incidences of appendicitis. Secondary outcomes were the annual percent of patients with appendicitis having a laparoscopic appendectomy, delay from admission to surgery, length of postoperative hospital stay, and 30-day postoperative mortality.

RESULTS:  A total of 24,046 pediatric cases of appendicitis were identified. The annual incidence steadily declined until 2008 (-29%, all ages) and then remained stable. The surgical approach of choice changed from being open appendectomy in 2000 (97%) to laparoscopic appendectomy in 2015 (94%). Simultaneously, the duration of postoperative hospital stay declined from 41 hours (median) to 17 hours. Delay from admission until surgery did not change during the period. Only one child died within the 30-day postoperative period.

CONCLUSION:  In accordance with other recent studies from Western countries, we found significant changes in the incidence of acute appendicitis including a decline in all age groups except those below 5 years of age, a shift toward laparoscopic appendectomy, and decreasing time spent in the hospital during the years 2000 to 2015.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)347-352
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

    Research areas

  • Appendicitis, Children, Incidence

ID: 60792352