Implementing a surgeon-reported categorization of pediatric appendicitis severity

Katherine J. Baxter, Heather L. Short, Curtis D. Travers, Kurt F. Heiss, Mehul V. Raval*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to implement a novel surgeon-reported categorization (SRC) for pediatric appendicitis severity and determine if SRC was associated with outcomes. Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of appendectomies by 15 surgeons within a single center from January to December 2016. The SRC was defined as: simple (category 1), gangrenous or adherent (category 2A), perforation with localized abscess (category 2B), and perforation with gross contamination (category 2C). Logistic regression modeled the surgical site infections (SSI) and returns to the system. Cox proportional hazards analyses modeled the length of stay (LOS). Results: The cohort included 697 patients (mean age 10.7 years). Compliance with SRC documentation increased from 33.5 to 85.9%. Review of operative findings revealed 100% concordance with SRC. The combined morbidity (SSI and revisits) rate was 9.8%. Category 2C patients had the highest odds of SSI (odds ratio 3.37 95% confidence interval 1.07–10.59). Median LOS increased with each category (category 1 = 1d, category 2A = 2d, category 2B = 4d, category 2C = 6d). When modeling intra-abdominal abscess, SRC displayed an improved model calibration and discrimination compared to wound class. Conclusion: SRC implementation is feasible and provides a granular assessment of appendicitis severity and outcomes. SRC may guide future quality improvement through development of grade-specific care pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1281-1286
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Surgery International
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Appendicitis
  • Grading
  • Outcomes
  • Pediatric
  • Severity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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