Current Location:  Medical Resources  >  Appendicitis

 Appendicitis

 Appendicitis FactAn appendicitis is defined as an inflammation of the appendix, an organ located in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen.  Acute appendicitis attacks are usually marked by nausea, vomiting, and intense pain with movement, as well as tenderness in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen.


Appendicitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the appendix. It is classified as a medical emergency and many cases require removal of the inflamed appendix, either by laparotomy or laparoscopy. Untreated, mortality is high, mainly because of peritonitis and shock. Reginald Fitz first described acute and chronic appendicitis in 1886,[2] and it has been recognized as one of the most common causes of severe acute abdominal pain worldwide. A correctly diagnosed non-acute form of appendicitis is known as "rumbling appendicitis".

The term "pseudoappendicitis" is used to describe a condition mimicking appendicitis. It can be associated with Yersinia enterocolitica.

Signs and Symptoms
For the most part symptoms relate to disturbed function of bowels. Pain first, vomiting next and fever last has been described as classic presentation of acute appendicitis. Pain starts mid abdomen, and except in children below 3 years, tends to localize in right iliac fossa in a few hours. This pain can be elicited through various signs. Signs include localized findings in the right iliac fossa. The abdominal wall becomes very sensitive to gentle pressure (palpation). Also, there is severe pain on suddenly releasing a deep pressure in lower abdomen rebound tenderness. In case of a retrocecal appendix, however, even deep pressure in the right lower quadrant may fail to elicit tenderness (silent appendix), the reason being that the cecum, distended with gas, prevents the pressure exerted by the palpating hand from reaching the inflamed appendix. Similarly, if the appendix lies entirely within the pelvis, there is usually complete absence of the abdominal rigidity. In such cases, a digital rectal examination elicits tenderness in the rectovesical pouch. Coughing causes point tenderness in this area (McBurney's point) and this is the least painful way to localize the inflamed appendix. If the abdomen on palpation is also involuntarily guarded (rigid), there should be a strong suspicion of peritonitis requiring urgent surgical intervention.

  Related Topics

 

       
  Appendicitis Listings

Appendicitis - information on signs and symptoms provided by kidshealth.org

Acute Appendicitis - informative eMedicine article with signs, symptoms, etiology, frequency, etc.

Acute Appendicitis - excerpt from the Merck Manual

Next 5 Topics
Arthritis - Asbestosis - Asthma - Astigmatism - Athlete's Foot

Important Medical Disclaimer
e-malta.com is for educational purposes only; information contained within should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult a licensed health care provider regarding your medical condition.

IN NO WAY SHOULD OUR WEB SITE AND ONLINE GUIDES BE CONSIDERED AS OFFERING MEDICAL ADVICE! THE CONTENT ON THE SITE IS PRESENTED IN SUMMARY FORM, IS GENERAL IN NATURE, AND IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. NEVER DISREGARD MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY IN SEEKING IT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON THIS WEBSITE.

The materials provided at this site are for informational purposes and are not intended for use as diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a licensed medical professional. Check with a physician if you suspect you are ill, or believe you may have one of the problems discussed on our website, as many problems and disease states may be serious and even life-threatening. Also note that while we frequently update our website's content, medical information changes rapidly. Therefore, some information may be out of date or even possibly inaccurate and erroneous. If you find information on our site that you believe is in error, please let us know. We make no representations or warranties with respect to any information offered or provided on or through our website regarding treatment, action, or application of medication. Neither e-malta.com, or any of its Members and Affiliates will be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other damages.