Specific Diseases Mimicking Appendicitis in Childhood

Philip J. Knight, MD; Louis E. Vassy, MD
Arch Surg. 1981;116(6):744-746. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1981.01380180008002.
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• Of 1,039 children who underwent exploratory surgery with a preoperative diagnosis of acute appendicitis, 112 (11%) did not have suppurative, gangrenous, or perforated appendices. A specific disease other than appendicitis was found in 43 of these 112 children. Three fourths of these children (32/43) had their pathologic process diagnosed at the time of operation: one fourth (11/43) had the diagnosis made postoperatively on the basis of culture, histologic examination, roentgenograms, laboratory studies, or repeated exploratory surgery. More than half (24/43) required operation to treat the disease encountered. Although most of these children had diseases of the adjacent ileum and cecum or the pelvic adnexae, a number had disease outside the immediate operative field. A nonindurated appendix encountered at the time of operation for childhood appendicitis requires a thorough intra-abdominal exploration to exclude another disease that requires operative therapy.

(Arch Surg 1981;116:744-746)


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