The diagnosis of acute appendicitis in children is frequently difficult because of the handicaps encountered in obtaining an accurate history and in performing an adequate physical examination. These difficulties may lead to the impression that there is a fundamental difference in the disease in children and in adults. The problem has been analyzed with reference to incidence, bacteriology, etiology, symptomatology, subjective and objective signs, mortality and factors influencing mortality in children in order to determine any differences there may be in the manifestations of acute appendicitis in children and in adults.
The records of 258 patients under 15 years of age admitted to the University of Virginia Hospital from 1925 to 1932, inclusive, which were filed under the diagnosis of "acute appendicitis" were reviewed. For purposes of comparison, certain figures have been drawn from a statistical study of the series of cases of acute appendicitis in adults, seen in this