Special Issue "New Aspects in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Acute Surgical Conditions in Children"

A special issue of Children (ISSN 2227-9067). This special issue belongs to the section "Pediatric Surgery".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 December 2023 | Viewed by 4252

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Zenon Pogorelić
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Pediatric Surgery, University Hospital of Split, Spinčićeva 1, 21000 Split, Croatia
Interests: laparoscopy; pediatric surgery; minimally invasive surgery; pediatric urology; testis; appendicitis; thoracoscopic surgery; testicular torsion; neonatal surgery; esophageal atresia; varicocele; acute scrotum; surgical infection
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is a great honour to serve as the Guest Editors for this Special Issue of Children entitled “New aspects in the diagnosis and treatment of acute surgical conditions in children”.

In children a surgical emergency is a medical emergency in which immediate surgical intervention is the only way to solve the problem successfully. Many conditions in children require urgent diagnostic procedures and treatment because they can otherwise lead to irreversible damage, loss of organs or parts of organs, and in the worst case, to death. Therefore, recognizing such conditions is extremely important. In the majority of countries, at least 60% of the surgical operations performed are for emergencies. The most common types of general surgical emergencies include acute abdominal emergencies, urinary obstructions, respiratory obstructions/pleural disease, and trauma.

Despite the significant advances in medicine, it has become clear in recent years that there are still no ideal diagnostic and therapeutic procedures for all emergencies, so unfortunately, some remain unrecognized.

The aim of this Special Issue is to highlight new diagnostic, therapeutic, and surgical options for the treatment of emergency conditions in children.

Pediatric surgeons and anyone who deals with paediatric surgical emergencies are invited to contribute manuscripts to this Special Issue. Contributions can be original articles (prospective/retrospective studies), experimental studies, systemic reviews and meta-analyses, or new diagnostics or surgical techniques. Please avoid single-case reports and narrative reviews.

Dr. Zenon Pogorelić
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Children is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • otorhinolaryngological emergencies
  • cardiovascular and thoracic emergencies
  • gastrointestinal emergencies
  • gynecological emergencies
  • urological emergencies
  • orthopedic emergencies
  • hand surgical emergencies
  • skin and soft tissue injuries
  • bleeding and polytrauma
  • biomarkers for inflammatory conditions

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Thyroid Surgery in Children: A 5-Year Retrospective Study at a Single Paediatric Surgical Center and Systematic Review
Children 2022, 9(12), 1818; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9121818 - 25 Nov 2022
Viewed by 393
Abstract
The aim of this study was to analyse and evaluate our 5-year experience in paediatric thyroid surgery, as well as the specificities of this kind of surgery in the literature. This retrospective study was based on 19 operations in 17 patients aged from [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to analyse and evaluate our 5-year experience in paediatric thyroid surgery, as well as the specificities of this kind of surgery in the literature. This retrospective study was based on 19 operations in 17 patients aged from 5 to 17 years who were operated on due to thyroid pathology from 2017 until 2022. We presented data on surgical procedures and complications following surgery. Most of the patients were adolescent girls. The most common clinical presentations included enlarged thyroid gland, followed by thyroid nodules and hyperthyroidism. Eight total thyroidectomies, five left lobectomies, five right lobectomies, and three central neck dissections were performed. The most common histopathological diagnosis was hyperplastic diffuse colloid goitre, followed by papillary carcinoma, cystic nodule, follicular adenoma, Hashimoto thyroiditis and toxic adenoma. Postoperative course was uneventful, with four mild complications (one wound infection, one manifest hypocalcaemia, and two transitory recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis). In our literature review, eighteen full-text articles were included and analysed. This study demonstrated that thyroid surgery in paediatric population is a safe and efficient procedure. Thyroid pathology in children significantly differs from that in the adults, and paediatric surgeons should be included into the team managing such cases. Full article
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Article
Diagnostic Accuracy of Acid-Base Status in Infants with Hypertrophic Pyloric Stenosis
Children 2022, 9(12), 1815; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9121815 - 24 Nov 2022
Viewed by 200
Abstract
Background: Hypertrophic pyloric stenosis is a condition in newborns in which the hypertrophic pyloric muscle causes gastric obstructive symptoms of progressive vomiting leading to hypochloremic hypokalemic metabolic alkalosis. The main aim of the research was to assess whether, based on the acid-base status, [...] Read more.
Background: Hypertrophic pyloric stenosis is a condition in newborns in which the hypertrophic pyloric muscle causes gastric obstructive symptoms of progressive vomiting leading to hypochloremic hypokalemic metabolic alkalosis. The main aim of the research was to assess whether, based on the acid-base status, we can distinguish newborns who vomit due to pylorostenosis, compared with newborns who vomit for other unspecific reasons. Methods: The electronic records of patients in the hospital information system treated under the diagnosis Q40.0 (Congenital hypertrophic pyloric stenosis) (n = 69/included in the study = 53) in the period from 1 January 2014 to 1 January 2022 were reviewed retrospectively. For the purposes of the control group, the electronic records of patients treated in the emergency department with a diagnosis of R11.0 (Nausea and vomiting) (n = 53) without an established cause were randomly reviewed. In addition to the main aim, other research outcomes were to determine differences between groups in the following variables: duration of symptoms, family history, birth (preterm, term, post-term), birth weight, weight during examination, difference between birth weight and weight during an examination, type of vomiting, the thickness of the muscle wall and its length, and to calculate whether there is a correlation between the thickness and length of the pylorus muscle and the duration of vomiting in relation to variables from acid-base status. Results: In relation to the variables of interest between the groups, statistically significant differences were observed in the duration of symptoms (Mdn 4 vs. 2 days, p = 0.002), weight at examination (Mean 3880 vs. 4439 g, p = 0.001), difference in weight between birth and examination (Mean 374 vs. 1010 g, p < 0.0001), and type of vomiting (explosive 45 vs. 22, p = 0.023). In the acid-base status between the groups, a statistically significant difference was recorded for pH (Mdn 7.457 vs. 7.422, p < 0.0001), bicarbonate (Mdn 25 vs. 23 mmol/L, p = 0.000), total carbon dioxide (Mdn 25 vs. 24 mmol/L, p = 0.011), base excess (Mdn 0.8 vs. −1.3 mmol/L, p = 0.000), potassium (Mdn 5 vs. 5.3 mmol/L, p = 0.006), ionized calcium (Mdn 1.28 vs. 1.31 mmol/L, p = 0.011), and glucose (Mdn 4.5 vs. 4.9 mmol/L, p = 0.007). Regardless of the group, the correlations between the duration of vomiting (r = 0.316, p = 0.021 vs. r = 0.148, p = 0.290) and the thickness (r = 0.190, p = 0.172) and length (r = 0.142, p = 0.311) of the pylorus muscle in relation to pH did not exist or were weak. Conclusions: In a world where radiological methods are not equally available everywhere, with promising acid-base indicators, prospective multicenter studies and meta-analyses must be pursued in the future in order not to miss the possible much greater diagnostic potential of acid-base status. Full article
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Article
The Incidence of Associated Anomalies in Children with Congenital Duodenal Obstruction—A Retrospective Cohort Study of 112 Patients
Children 2022, 9(12), 1814; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9121814 - 24 Nov 2022
Viewed by 203
Abstract
Background: Duodenal obstruction (DO) is a congenital anomaly that is highly associated with other anomalies, such as cardiac anomalies and trisomy 21. However, an overview of additional anomalies and patient-specific risk factors for cardiac anomalies is lacking. Potential association with the vertebral, anorectal, [...] Read more.
Background: Duodenal obstruction (DO) is a congenital anomaly that is highly associated with other anomalies, such as cardiac anomalies and trisomy 21. However, an overview of additional anomalies and patient-specific risk factors for cardiac anomalies is lacking. Potential association with the vertebral, anorectal, cardiac, trachea-esophageal, renal and limb anomalies (VACTERL) spectrum remains unknown. Therefore, we aim to examine the incidence of associated anomalies, a VACTERL-spectrum association and patient-specific risk factors for cardiac anomalies in patients with DO. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed between 1996 and 2021. Outcomes were the presence of any additional anomalies. Risk factors for cardiac anomalies were analyzed using multivariate logistic regression. Results: Of 112 neonates with DO, 47% (N = 53/112) had one associated anomaly and 38% (N = 20/53) had multiple anomalies. Cardiac anomalies (N = 35/112) and trisomy 21 (N = 35/112) were present in 31%. In four patients, VACTERL-spectrum was discovered, all with cardiac anomalies. Trisomy 21 was found to be a risk factor for cardiac anomalies (OR:6.5; CI-95%2.6–16.1). Conclusion: Associated anomalies were present in half of patients with DO, of which cardiac anomalies and trisomy 21 occurred most often, and the VACTERL-spectrum was present in four patients. Trisomy 21 was a significant risk factor for cardiac anomalies. Therefore, we recommend a preoperative echocardiogram in patients with DO. In case a cardiac anomaly is found without trisomy 21, VACTERL-screening should be performed. Full article
Article
The Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy and Common Bile Duct Exploration: A Single-Step Treatment of Pediatric Cholelithiasis and Choledocholithiasis
Children 2022, 9(10), 1583; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9101583 - 19 Oct 2022
Viewed by 737
Abstract
Background: In recent years, complicated biliary tract diseases are increasingly diagnosed in children. Laparoscopic exploration of the common bile duct (LCBDE) followed by laparoscopic cholecystectomy has gained popularity in children. The aim of this study was to investigate the outcomes of LCBDE in [...] Read more.
Background: In recent years, complicated biliary tract diseases are increasingly diagnosed in children. Laparoscopic exploration of the common bile duct (LCBDE) followed by laparoscopic cholecystectomy has gained popularity in children. The aim of this study was to investigate the outcomes of LCBDE in children and compare them with the treatment outcomes of previously used endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Methods: From January 2000 to January 2022, a total of 84 children (78.5% female) underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy with a median follow-up of 11.4 (IQR 8, 14) years. Of these, 6 children underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) + ERCP and 14 children underwent LCBDE for choledochiothiasis. The primary end point of the study was the success of treatment in terms of the incidence of complications, recurrence rate, and rate of reoperation. Secondary endpoints were stone characteristics, presenting symptoms, duration of surgery, and length of hospital stay. Results: The majority of patients were female in both groups (83.5% vs. 85.7%), mostly overweight with a median BMI of 27.9 kg/m2 and 27.4 kg/m2, respectively. Obstructive jaundice, colicky pain, acute pancreatitis, and obstruction of the papilla were the most common symptoms in both groups. The majority of patients (68%) had one stone, whereas two or more stones were found in 32% of patients. The median diameter of the common bile duct was 9 mm in both groups. The procedure was successfully completed in all patients in the ERCP group. In the group of patients treated with LCBDE, endoscopic extraction of the stone with a Dormia basket was successfully performed in ten patients (71.4%), while in the remaining four patients (28.6%) the stones were fragmented with a laser because extraction with the Dormia basket was not possible. The median operative time was 79 min in the LCBDE group (IQR 68, 98), while it was slightly longer in the ERCP group, 85 min (IQR 74, 105) (p = 0.125). The length of hospital stay was significantly shorter in the LCBDE group (2 vs. 4 days, p = 0.011). No complications occurred in the LCBDE group, while two (40%) complications occurred in the ERCP group: pancreatitis and cholangitis (p = 0.078). During the follow-up period, no conversions, papillotomies, or recurrences were recorded in either group. Conclusions: Exploration of the common bile duct and removal of stones by LCBDE is safe and feasible in pediatric patients for the treatment of choledocholithiasis. Through this procedure, choledocholithiasis and cholelithiasis can be treated in a single procedure without papillotomy or fluoroscopy. Compared with LC + ERCP, LCBDE is associated with a shorter hospital stay. The incidence of complications was rather low but not statistically significant. Full article
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Article
IL-6 Serum Levels Can Enhance the Diagnostic Power of Standard Blood Tests for Acute Appendicitis
Children 2022, 9(10), 1425; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9101425 - 20 Sep 2022
Viewed by 457
Abstract
Background: The diagnosis of acute appendicitis (AA) remains challenging, especially in pediatrics, because early symptoms are not specific, and the younger the patient the more difficult their interpretation is. There is a large degree of agreement between pediatric surgeons on the importance of [...] Read more.
Background: The diagnosis of acute appendicitis (AA) remains challenging, especially in pediatrics, because early symptoms are not specific, and the younger the patient the more difficult their interpretation is. There is a large degree of agreement between pediatric surgeons on the importance of an early diagnosis to avoid complicated acute appendicitis (CAA) and its consequences. The aim of this study is to assess if Interleukin 6 (IL-6) could enhance the sensitivity (Sn) and specificity (Sp) of the currently available and routinely performed diagnostic tools in case of suspected AA in pediatric patients. Materials and Methods: A prospective observational study was conducted including patients who underwent appendectomy between November 2020 and March 2022. We divided patients into three groups: not inflamed appendix (group NA), not complicated AA (group NCAA), and complicated AA (group CAA). We compared the mean values of white blood cells (WBC), neutrophils, fibrinogen, ferritin, aPTT, INR, C-reactive protein (CRP), IL-6, and CRP between the three groups. Then we evaluated Sn, Sp, and odds ratio (OR) of IL-6 and CRP alone and combined. Results: We enrolled 107 patients operated on for AA (22 in Group NA, 63 in Group NCAA, and 21 in group CAA). CRP levels resulted in a significant increase when comparing CAA with NA (p = 0.01) and CAA with NCAA (p = 0.01), whereas no significance was found between NA and NCAA (p = 0.38). A statistically significant increase in average IL-6 levels was found when comparing NCAA with NA (p = 0.04), CAA with NA (p = 0.04), and CAA with NCAA (p = 0.02). Considering CRP alone, its Sn, Sp, and OR in distinguishing NA from AA (both NCAA and CAA together) are 86%, 35%, and 33,17, respectively. Similarly, Sn, Sp, and OR of IL-6 alone are 82%, 54%, and 56, respectively. Combining CRP and IL-6 serum levels together, the Sn increases drastically to 100% with an Sp of 40% and OR of 77. Conclusions: Our study may suggest an important role of IL-6 in the detection of AA in its early stage, especially when coupled with CRP. Full article
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Article
Same-Day Discharge after Laparoscopic Appendectomy for Simple Appendicitis in Pediatric Patients—Is It Possible?
Children 2022, 9(8), 1220; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9081220 - 12 Aug 2022
Viewed by 610
Abstract
(1) Background: One-day surgery has been widely adopted for many elective laparoscopic procedures in pediatric patients. Recently, the same protocol has been investigated for some emergency procedures, such as laparoscopic appendectomy. This study aimed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of discharge from [...] Read more.
(1) Background: One-day surgery has been widely adopted for many elective laparoscopic procedures in pediatric patients. Recently, the same protocol has been investigated for some emergency procedures, such as laparoscopic appendectomy. This study aimed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of discharge from hospital within 24 h in pediatric patients who received laparoscopic appendectomy for uncomplicated acute appendicitis. (2) Methods: From 1 March 2021 to 1 May 2022, a total of 180 pediatric patients who were discharged from hospital within 24 h after laparoscopic appendectomy for uncomplicated appendicitis were included in this prospective single-center study. The primary outcome of this study was the safety of discharge from hospital within 24 h after laparoscopic appendectomy for uncomplicated appendicitis, as well as the parental satisfaction with this protocol. Secondary outcomes included the rate of readmission or unplanned return to the operating room, the complication rate and a cost-effectiveness analysis. For each patient, demographic data, preoperative evaluation (physical examination, laboratory data, imaging), duration of surgery, intraoperative and postoperative complications, length of hospital stay and pain levels, as well as parental satisfaction with this protocol, were recorded. (3) Results: The median age was 11 years (interquartile range (IQR) 10, 14). The majority of the patients (63.8%) were males. The median length of hospital stay after surgery was 15 h (IQR 12, 19). The highest level of satisfaction, at discharge, was recorded in most of the respondents (n = 155, 86.1%), while the remaining 25 (13.9%) expressed moderate levels of satisfaction. The median pain levels according to a visual analogue scale for all postoperative days were low (range 0–4). In four patients (2.2%), unplanned readmission before the seventh postoperative day because of postoperative intraabdominal abscess was recorded. All patients with abscess formation were treated conservatively. The majority of the parents (n = 175; 97.2%) expressed the highest level of satisfaction during the outpatient follow-up examination on the seventh postoperative day. (4) Conclusions: Same-day discharge after laparoscopic appendectomy for simple appendicitis in pediatric patients was safe and feasible. Parental satisfaction with this protocol was very high. With the right protocol and parent education, pediatric patients who underwent laparoscopic appendectomy because of non-complicated acute appendicitis may be successfully treated in this way. Full article
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Case Report
Prevention of Tracheo-Innominate Artery Fistula Formation as a Complication of Tracheostomy: Two Case Reports
Children 2022, 9(11), 1603; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9111603 - 22 Oct 2022
Viewed by 354
Abstract
Tracheo-innominate artery fistula (TIF) is a rare complication of tracheostomy and refers to the formation of a fistula between the trachea and innominate artery. Because TIF is fatal, prevention rather than treatment is very important. Here we report the cases of two high-risk [...] Read more.
Tracheo-innominate artery fistula (TIF) is a rare complication of tracheostomy and refers to the formation of a fistula between the trachea and innominate artery. Because TIF is fatal, prevention rather than treatment is very important. Here we report the cases of two high-risk patients who underwent tracheostomy, and in whose cases attempts were made to lower the risk of TIF. In the first patient who developed a chest deformity with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a tracheostomy was performed with a high-level (cricothyroid level) approach compared with the standard tracheostomy. In the second patient, the thoracic cage was relatively small due to a giant omphalocele, and the risk of a fistula forming was decreased by wrapping the innominate artery with an opened polytetrafluoroethylene vascular graft after resolving crowding of the intrathoracic cavity by total thymectomy. There was no TIF occurrence at the outpatient follow-up in either case. We expect that our approaches may be effective intervention measures for preventing TIF. Full article
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Systematic Review
Hyponatremia—A New Diagnostic Marker for Complicated Acute Appendicitis in Children: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Children 2022, 9(7), 1070; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9071070 - 18 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 926
Abstract
Background: Acute appendicitis in the pediatric population remains a diagnostic challenge for clinicians. Despite many biochemical markers, imaging modalities and scoring systems, initial misdiagnosis and complication rates are high in children. This suggests the need for investigations directed towards new diagnostic tools to [...] Read more.
Background: Acute appendicitis in the pediatric population remains a diagnostic challenge for clinicians. Despite many biochemical markers, imaging modalities and scoring systems, initial misdiagnosis and complication rates are high in children. This suggests the need for investigations directed towards new diagnostic tools to aid in the diagnosis. Recent studies have shown a correlation between serum sodium levels and complicated appendicitis. Although the exact reasons for hyponatremia in patients with complicated appendicitis are not known, there is persuasive data to support the role of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 in the non-osmotic release of antidiuretic hormone. This meta-analysis aims to investigate all available data on hyponatremia as a diagnostic marker of complicated appendicitis in the pediatric population. Methods: The literature search was conducted by two independent investigators according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The scientific databases (PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and Scopus) were systematically searched for relevant studies using the keywords (hyponatremia) AND (appendicitis) AND (children). The methodological quality was assessed using a validated scale, and RevMan 5.4 software was utilized for pooled analysis. Results: Seven studies were included in the final meta-analysis, five of which were retrospective. A total of 1615 and 2808 cases were distributed into two groups: group A with complicated appendicitis and group B with uncomplicated acute appendicitis, respectively. The studies compared serum sodium levels of patients among the groups. Pooling the data demonstrated significantly lower serum sodium levels in children with complicated appendicitis vs. the non-complicated appendicitis (WMD: −3.29, 95% CI = −4.52 to −2.07, p < 0.00001). The estimated heterogeneity among the included studies was substantial and statistically significant (I2 = 98%, p < 0.00001). Conclusion: The results of the present meta-analysis indicate that hyponatremia has potential to be utilized as a biochemical marker in the diagnosis of complicated appendicitis in the pediatric population. However, well designed prospective diagnostic efficiency studies are essential to consolidate the association between hyponatremia and complicated acute appendicitis. Full article
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