Last Reviewed : 12/24/2020

Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix. Appendicitis commonly presents with right lower abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and decreased appetite. However, approximately 40% of people do not have these typical signs and symptoms. Severe complications of a ruptured appendix include widespread, painful inflammation of the inner lining of the abdominal wall and sepsis.

Appendicitis is caused by a blockage of the hollow portion of the appendix, most commonly by a calcified "stone" made of feces. Inflamed lymphoid tissue from a viral infection, parasites, gallstone, or tumors may also cause the blockage. This blockage leads to increased pressures in the appendix, decreased blood flow to the tissues of the appendix, and bacterial growth inside the appendix causing inflammation. The combination of inflammation, reduced blood flow to the appendix and distention of the appendix causes tissue injury and tissue death. If this process is left untreated, the appendix may burst, releasing bacteria into the abdominal cavity, leading to severe abdominal pain and increased complications.

The diagnosis of appendicitis is largely based on the person's signs and symptoms. In cases where the diagnosis cannot be made based on the person's history and physical exam, close observation, radiographic imaging and laboratory tests can be helpful. The two most common imaging tests used are ultrasound and computed tomography (CT scan). CT scan has been shown to be more accurate than ultrasound in detecting acute appendicitis. However, ultrasound may be preferred as the first imaging test in children and pregnant women because of the risks associated with radiation exposure from CT scans.

The standard treatment for acute appendicitis is surgical removal of the appendix.


We researched this topic for you and found the following best online resources. They are categorized into basic, advanced, and research level based on the extent of information you need. You will be taken to the respective websites by pressing on the links below.


Basic information: web md appendicitis health line what is appendicitis? nhs uk appendicitis mayo clinic appendicitis medline plus appendicitis kids health appendicitis better health appendicitis healthy children appendicitis in teens cleveland clinic appendicitis university of maryland medical center appendicitis merck manuals(professional version) appendicitis live science appendicitis: signs & symptoms of appendix pain kids health appendicitis southern cross medical library appendicitis - symptoms, diagnosis, surgery, recovery inner body appendicitis health direct appendicitis


Advanced information: medicine net appendicitis medical news today appendicitis: causes, symptoms and treatments medscape appendicitis medscape pediatric appendicitis patient appendicitis patient appendicitis emedicine health appendicitis radiopedia appendicitis

university of helsinki. "antibiotics for appendicitis: yes and no." sciencedaily. sciencedaily, 18 march 2016. acute appendicitis: review and update d. mike hardin, jr., m.d., texas a&m university health science center, temple, texas am fam physician. 1999 nov 1;60(7):2027-2034


Research: mehmet ali yagci and cuneyt kayaalp, “transvaginal appendectomy: a systematic review,” minimally invasive surgery, vol. 2014, article id 384706, 8 pages, 2014. doi:10.1155/2014/384706

gaitini d. imaging acute appendicitis: state of the art. j clin imaging sci [serial online] 2011 [cited 2016 jul 29];1:49. available from: amebiasis presenting as acute appendicitis: report of a case and review of japanese literature by daisuke ito et al., international journal of surgery case reports volume 5, issue 12, 2014, pages 1054–1057 doi:10.1016/j.ijscr.2014.10.035 a pin in appendix within amyand's hernia in a six-years-old boy: case report and review of literature by sadik s llullaku et al., world journal of emergency surgery20105:14 doi: 10.1186/1749-7922-5-14

gupta v, sharma s b. neonatal appendicitis with perforation: a case report and review of literature. j indian assoc pediatr surg [serial online] 2005 [cited 2016 jul 29];10:179-80. available from: appendicitis as a cause of intestinal strangulation: a case report and review by laxminarayan bhandari et al., world journal of emergency surgery20094:34 doi: 10.1186/1749-7922-4-34 rev. assoc. med. bras. vol.61 no.2 são paulo mar./apr. 2015 review articles:acute appendicitis in pregnancy: literature review antônio henriques de franca neto et al., d. codrich, m. g. scarpa, m. a. lembo, et al., “transumbilical laparo-assisted appendectomy: a safe operation for the whole spectrum of appendicitis in children—a single-centre experience,” minimally invasive surgery, vol. 2013, article id 216416, 4 pages, 2013. doi:10.1155/2013/216416 appendectomy during the third trimester of pregnancy in a 27-year old patient: case report of a "near miss" complication by thomas holzer et al., patient safety in surgery20115:11 doi: 10.1186/1754-9493-5-11 antibiotic therapy vs appendectomy for treatment of uncomplicated acute appendicitisthe appac randomized clinical trial by paulina salminen, md, phd et al.,jama. 2015;313(23):2340-2348. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.6154. epidemiology and socioeconomic features of appendicitis in taiwan: a 12-year population-based study by kai-biao lin et al., world journal of emergency surgery201510:42 doi: 10.1186/s13017-015-0036-3 beyond appendicitis: common and uncommon gastrointestinal causes of right lower quadrant abdominal pain at multidetector ct by andrei s. purysko, md et al., july-august 2011 volume 31, issue 4 doi: acute appendicitis is associated with peptic ulcers: a population-based study by ming-chieh tsai et al., scientific reports 5, article number: 18044 (2015) doi:10.1038/srep18044


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Presentations/quiz/newspaper articles: newser girl's 'appendicitis' turns out to be worms daily mail teenager's 'appendicitis' is found to be infestation of worms wriggling inside her

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follow us: @mailonline on twitter | dailymail on facebook cnn surgery-free option for appendicitis could become the norm stat news not all kids with appendicitis need surgery. antibiotics can work just fine mirror stomach-churning moment surgeons realise schoolgirl's 'appendicitis' was actually worms wriggling around it cbs news some kids with appendicitis may not need surgery

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