An Appraisal of the Role of Ultrasonography in Pediatric Abdominal Pain in Jos, North-Central Nigeria


  • E. O. Igoh
  • A. E. Gabkwet
  • K. O. Iyua
  • A. J. Salaam
  • S. M. Danjem
  • Y. F. Taiwo
  • D. Atsukwei
  • P. M. Gwom
  • C. S. Igoh


Abdominal pain is a common complaint in paediatric age group and a reason for frequent hospital visits warranting an abdominal sonogram. Ultrasonography is non-invasive, readily available, cheap, reproducible and a quick and reliable technique in evaluating children with abdominal pain to arrive at possible differential diagnosis. The aim of this study was to appraise the role of ultrasonography in evaluating abdominal pain in children and to document the incidence of various specific conditions causing abdominal pain in the children (< 18 years). Materials and Methods. A five (5) year retrospective review of the archive of children aged < 18 years with abdominal pain sent to the Department of Radiology of the Jos University Teaching Hospital for abdominal sonography between January 2015 and December 2020. Findings. The abdominal ultrasound was normal in 60.0% of the patients suggesting a non-specific aetiology of the abdominal pain. Other common abdominal ultrasound findings were mesenteric adenitis (32.4%), urinary tract infection (1.8%), hepatomegaly (1.7%) and acute appendicitis (1.2%). The least findings were imperforate hymen (0.1%), nephroblastoma (0.1%) and umbilical hernia (0.1%). Conclusion. Ultrasonography remains a very effective, complementary and non-invasive method for evaluating children with abdominal pain as it is instrumental in the diagnosis and guide patient care. Emergency medicine physicians should have a foundation in the basics of point-of-care ultrasound. Being proficient at using ultrasound will be an invaluable skill in expediting patient care by providing a quick diagnosis and disposition while avoiding ionizing radiation.Keywords: Ultrasonography, Abdominal pain, Children, Mesenteric Adenitis