PURPOSE: Alvarado scoring system was evaluated regarding its usefulness for the early diagnosis of acute appendicitis in adult and in reduction of the incidence of negative appendicectomies. To evaluate the accuracy of diagnosing appendicitis using the Alvarado score in children. METHODS: Prospectively, we surveyed 122 patients (male 67, female 55) suffering from abdominal pain, who had visited to the emergency department of Chosun University Hospital from June 2002 to May 2003. The Alvarado score has been computed from the white blood cell count, neutrophil count, body temperature, resistance in the right lower quadrant, length of symptoms, nausea and vomiting. Each patient was evaluated by a pediatric resident and then by a general surgeon independently. RESULTS: Out of 170 total children who visited to the emergency department due to abdominal pain, 122 patients were associated with appendicitis. A total of 122 patients (67 male and 55 female) were visited to the emergency room with suspected appendicitis. From 105 operated patients, 92 (87.6%) were diagnosed acute appendicitis and erronous diagnostic rate was 12.4%, pathologically. Mean alvarado score of appendicitis group was 5.40+/-1.24 whereas those of non-appendicitis group was 3.73+/-1.82 (p<0.05). From 6 Alvarado score high sensitivity (86.4%) and high specificity (80.0%) were observed. Sensitivity of ultrasonography or computed tomography was 92.5%. CONCLUSION: We found that Alvarado score system is a noninvasive, safe diagnostic method, which is simple, reliable and repeatable. Alvarado score is useful system for a first, rapid and economic evaluation for the appendicitis in children.