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Serum alpha-interferon levels were analysed in 50 consecutive children admitted with right iliac fossa pain. Serum alpha-interferon levels were significantly raised in 33% of children without acute appendicitis when compared to 5.7% of children with histologically proven acute appendicitis and 9% of normal controls. This interesting phenomenon needs further investigation. A larger series may show it to be of clinical use in non-specific abdominal pain in childhood.