Infantile colic

Last reviewed: 21 Apr 2022
Last updated: 13 Oct 2021

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • generally well and thriving
More key diagnostic factors

Other diagnostic factors

  • normal urine
  • absence of recurrent vomiting
  • absence of diarrhea
  • normal temperature
  • absence of abdominal distention
  • normal tympanic membrane
  • absence of signs of physical trauma
Other diagnostic factors

Risk factors

  • infants <5 months of age
  • food sensitivity
  • exposure to cigarette smoke
  • lack of breastfeeding
  • parental psychosocial factors
  • increased parental age
  • high level of parental intelligence and education
More risk factors

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • clinical evaluation
More 1st investigations to order

Investigations to consider

  • urinalysis
  • urine culture
  • plain radiograph of a suspected fractured area
  • abdominal radiograph
More investigations to consider

Treatment algorithm

ACUTE

breastfed

formula-fed

ONGOING

persistent colic despite behavioral and dietary modifications

Contributors

Authors

Alexander K.C. Leung, MB BS, FRCPC, FRCP, FRCPCH, FAAP
Alexander K.C. Leung

Clinical Professor of Pediatrics

The University of Calgary

Calgary

Alberta

Canada

Disclosures

AKCL is an author of a number of references cited in this topic.

Jean-François Lemay, MD, FRCPC
Jean-François Lemay

Professor of Pediatrics

The University of Calgary

Calgary

Alberta

Canada

Disclosures

J-FL is an author of a reference cited in this topic.

Peer reviewers

Deepak Kamat, MD, PhD

Professor of Pediatrics

Wayne State University

Vice Chair of Education

Director

Institute of Medical Education

The Carman and Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics

Children's Hospital of Michigan

Detroit

MI

Disclosures

DK declares that he has no competing interests.

Ellis Hon, MD, FAAP

Professor of Pediatrics

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Sha Tin

New Territories

Hong Kong SAR

The People's Republic of China

Disclosures

EH declares that he has no competing interests.

  • Differentials

    • Urinary tract infection
    • Otitis media
    • GERD
    More Differentials
  • Guidelines

    • Infantile colic: is there a role for dietary interventions?
    • Concerns for the use of soy-based formulas in infant nutrition
    More Guidelines
  • Patient leaflets

    Colic in babies

    Postpartum depression

    More Patient leaflets
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