1U.O. di Neonatologia e T.I.N. del Policlinico Universitario di Bari
Chronic abdominal pain (caP) refers to pain that has been present continuously – or occurring at least on a weekly basis when intermittent – for a minimum period of 2 months. it is a description not a diagnosis, and can be due to a functional disorder or organic disease. a functional disorder is one in which symptoms of disease occur in the absence of objective evidence for an organic process. in the majority of cases, caP in childhood is due to a functional disorder. a detailed history should elicit the characteristics of the pain, precipitating and relieving factors, appetite, dietary intake, and stool history. in the well child with a normal examination and history typical of functional caP, investigation is usually unnecessary. However, the duration and severity of pain, its impact on daily life and the level of concern will temper this approach.