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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Young Boy with Fever and Grunting


Case Presentation: A 16-month-old boy presented with acute fever of 99° Fahrenheit (after receiving antipyretics), grunting, and tachypnea. On examination, he was tachycardic, tachypneic, and ill-appearing with abdominal distention and diffuse tenderness. A plain film abdominal radiograph showed moderate free air, and emergent laparoscopy revealed perforated Meckel’s diverticulitis with peritonitis.

Discussion: Although tachypnea and grunting in preverbal or nonverbal patients are often considered to be signs of respiratory illness, these findings may reflect intra-abdominal emergencies. Perforated Meckel’s diverticulitis is an important differential consideration in patients with pneumoperitoneum.

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