Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Appendectomy may be best for patients with positive CT exam

Date:
May 26, 2010
Source:
Radiological Society of North America
Summary:
When CT results suggest appendicitis, but a patient's symptoms are inconsistent with the acute condition, physicians should consider a diagnosis of chronic or recurrent appendicitis and surgical treatment, according to a new study.

When CT results suggest appendicitis, but a patient's symptoms are inconsistent with the acute condition, physicians should consider a diagnosis of chronic or recurrent appendicitis and surgical treatment, according to a new study published in the online edition and July printed issue of the journal Radiology.

Related Articles


"The decision to forego surgery in these patients often results in missed appendicitis, with a possible increased risk of perforation," said study co-author Emily M. Webb, M.D., assistant professor of clinical radiology at the University of California, San Francisco.

Acute appendicitis, which occurs when the appendix -- a small, tube-like structure attached to the large intestine -- becomes blocked and inflamed, requires prompt surgical removal. Left untreated, an inflamed appendix will eventually perforate, or burst, spilling infectious materials into the abdominal cavity, which can be life-threatening. In the less common chronic and recurrent appendicitis, patients experience milder symptoms that may come and go. According to the National Institutes of Health, appendicitis can affect anyone, but is more common among people 10 to 30 years old. Appendicitis leads to more emergency abdominal surgeries than any other cause.

For the study, the researchers reviewed CT reports and medical records of 2,283 patients who underwent CT for suspected appendicitis at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center between 2002 and 2007. Patients in the study included 856 men and 1,427 women between the ages of 18 and 99 years old with a mean age of 46.

"We wanted to look at patients with a positive CT scan but atypical clinical symptoms who did not have their appendix immediately removed," Dr. Webb said.

Of the study's 2,283 patients, 516, or 23 percent, had CT findings that indicated a probable or definite appendicitis. Of those 516 patients, 450 (87 percent) had their appendix surgically removed within four days. Ninety-five percent of those cases were confirmed as acute appendicitis.

Forty-nine (10%) of 516 patients had nonsurgical treatment, including antibiotics or percutaneous abscess drainage. An additional four of 516 patients were lost to follow up.

Thirteen (three percent) of the 516 patients with positive CT findings did not receive immediate surgical treatment because their symptoms -- including a normal appetite, absence of nausea and vomiting, normal white blood cell count and mild or resolving pain -- were atypical for acute appendicitis. Of those, five (38 percent) ultimately had their appendix removed after seeking treatment for the same symptoms an average of four months later. Appendicitis was confirmed in all cases.

"The results of our study confirm that CT is a good diagnostic tool for appendicitis and that surgeons should be wary of dismissing positive CT findings," Dr. Webb said. "Prompt treatment of chronic or recurrent appendicitis can prevent patients from developing complications or other future ill effects."

The study's findings may also help explain the disparity between CT results that indicate appendicitis and patient symptoms that do not.

"When the appendix is not completely obstructed, it can result in a milder form of appendicitis that is chronic or recurring," Dr. Webb said. "But the three forms of appendicitis, acute, chronic and recurrent, are indistinguishable on CT scans.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Radiological Society of North America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Radiological Society of North America. "Appendectomy may be best for patients with positive CT exam." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100526091036.htm>.
Radiological Society of North America. (2010, May 26). Appendectomy may be best for patients with positive CT exam. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100526091036.htm
Radiological Society of North America. "Appendectomy may be best for patients with positive CT exam." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100526091036.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

AFP (Jan. 29, 2015) Oxfam International has called for a multi-million dollar post-Ebola "Marshall Plan", with financial support given by wealthy countries, to help Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to recover. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Calif. Health Officials Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

Calif. Health Officials Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The California Health Department says e-cigarettes are a public health risk for both smokers and those who inhale e-cig smoke secondhand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) Officials say 66 students at a Southern California high school have been told to stay home through the end of next week because they may have been exposed to measles and are not vaccinated. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins