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June 1981

Thoracic Cord Tumor Appearing as Recurrent Abdominal Pain

Am J Dis Child. 1981;135(6):574-575. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1981.02130300072027

Recurrent abdominal pain in childhood is a common and troublesome problem for the practitioner. The differential diagnosis includes urinary tract infection, urolithiasis, constipation, peptic ulcer disease, infectious or parasitic colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, intermittent volvulus, cholelithiasis, recurrent pancreatitis, drug or food intolerance, abdominal mass lesion, porphyria, sickle cell disease, psychosomatic expression of emotional stress, and school refusal. Our case is presented to illustrate an uncommon, but important, cause of abdominal pain that was overlooked by numerous physicians despite the existence of a subtle clue.

Report of a Case.—A 3-year-old girl was seen by a physician six weeks prior to hospitalization because of a cough, sore throat, and temperature to 39 °C. An antibiotic to be taken orally was prescribed, and the illness resolved in a few days.

Approximately one week later, the child awoke screaming and doubled over with apparent abdominal pain that lasted 20 minutes. There was