Acute appendicitis

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Acute appendicitis
Diagnosis in short

Acute appendicitis. H&E stain.

LM neutrophils in the muscularis propria
LM DDx adenovirus appendicitis, negative appendectomy, Granulomatous appendicitis, Crohn's disease of the appendix, appendiceal neuroendocrine tumour, mucinous tumour of the appendix
Gross serosal surface dull, +/-fibrinous exudate, +/-perforation
Site vermiform appendix

Clinical history classically periumbilical pain then right lower quadrant pain, usu. younger patients
Signs rebound tenderness, tenderness at McBurney's point, Rovsing sign, psoas sign, obturator sign
Prevalence common
Blood work leukocytosis
Radiology periappendiceal fat stranding, increased appendiceal diameter
Prognosis good
Clin. DDx symptomatic Meckel diverticulum, epiploic appendagitis, ectopic pregnancy, ruptured ovarian cyst, ovarian torsion, pelvic inflammatory disease, benign fecal impaction

Acute appendicitis, abbreviated AA, is an acute inflammation of the vermiform appendix. It is very common and keeps general surgeons busy.

General

Short clinical DDx:

Gross

Features:

  • Serosal surface dull.
  • May be perforated (best determined on gross).
  • +/-Fibrinous exudate.

Note:

  • Normal diameter of appendix (based on CT): 6.6 +/- 1.5 mm.[4]
    • Similar numbers are found in another study.[5]

Image:

Microscopic

Features:

  • Neutrophils in the muscularis propria - key feature.
  • +/- Vascular thrombosis (and necrosis) - known as gangrenous appendicitis.[6]
  • +/- Findings suggestive of etiology - usu. absent:

Note:

DDx:

Images

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Vermiform Appendix, Appendectomy:
- Acute appendicitis with acute periappendicitis.

Block letters

VERMIFORM APPENDIX, APPENDECTOMY:
- ACUTE APPENDICITIS.
- ACUTE PERIAPPENDICITIS. 
VERMIFORM APPENDIX, APPENDECTOMY:
- ACUTE APPENDICITIS WITH FOCAL NECROSIS OF THE APPENDICEAL WALL.
- ACUTE PERIAPPENDICITIS.

Gangrenous

VERMIFORM APPENDIX, APPENDECTOMY:
- GANGRENOUS APPENDICITIS.
- ACUTE PERIAPPENDICITIS. 
VERMIFORM APPENDIX, APPENDECTOMY:
- GANGRENOUS APPENDICITIS WITH PERFORATION.
- ACUTE PERIAPPENDICITIS. 
VERMIFORM APPENDIX, APPENDECTOMY:
- ACUTE APPENDICITIS WITH GANGRENOUS CHANGES.
- ACUTE PERIAPPENDICITIS.

Perforated appendicitis

VERMIFORM APPENDIX, APPENDECTOMY:
- ACUTE APPENDICITIS WITH PERFORATION AND ACUTE PERIAPPENDICITIS.
VERMIFORM APPENDIX, APPENDECTOMY:
- PERFORATED ACUTE APPENDICITIS WITH ACUTE PERIAPPENDICITIS.

This is uncommon to see definitively on histology.

Micro

Gangrenous appendicitis

The sections shows appendiceal wall with marked acute transmural inflammation and necrotic appendiceal wall with large collections of neutrophils. Several medium-sized blood vessels are thrombosed. A thick layer of neutrophils cover the serosal aspect.

Alternate - less developed

The sections shows appendiceal wall with marked acute inflammation and a focally necrotic appendiceal wall with large collections of neutrophils. Intravascular fibrin is seen in medium-sized blood vessels. Clusters of neutrophils are seen on the serosal aspect.

See also

References

  1. Beaugerie, L.; Sokol, H. (Aug 2009). "Appendicitis, not appendectomy, is protective against ulcerative colitis, both in the general population and first-degree relatives of patients with IBD.". Inflamm Bowel Dis. doi:10.1002/ibd.21064. PMID 19685454.
  2. Timmer, A.; Obermeier, F. (2009). "Reduced risk of ulcerative colitis after appendicectomy.". BMJ 338: b225. PMID 19273505.
  3. Park, NH.; Park, CS.; Lee, EJ.; Kim, MS.; Ryu, JA.; Bae, JM.; Song, JS. (Nov 2007). "Ultrasonographic findings identifying the faecal-impacted appendix: differential findings with acute appendicitis.". Br J Radiol 80 (959): 872-7. doi:10.1259/bjr/80553348. PMID 17875592.
  4. Charoensak, A.; Pongpornsup, S.; Suthikeeree, W. (Dec 2010). "Wall thickness and outer diameter of the normal appendix in adults using 64 slices multidetector CT.". J Med Assoc Thai 93 (12): 1437-42. PMID 21344807.
  5. Huwart, L.; El Khoury, M.; Lesavre, A.; Phan, C.; Rangheard, AS.; Bessoud, B.; Menu, Y. (Mar 2007). "[What is the thickness of the normal appendix on MDCT?].". J Radiol 88 (3 Pt 1): 385-9. PMID 17457270.
  6. URL: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/363818-overview. Accessed on: 21 June 2010.
  7. Aravindan, KP. (Oct 1997). "Eosinophils in acute appendicitis: possible significance.". Indian J Pathol Microbiol 40 (4): 491-8. PMID 9444860.
  8. Aravindan, KP.; Vijayaraghavan, D.; Manipadam, MT.. "Acute eosinophilic appendicitis and the significance of eosinophil - Edema lesion.". Indian J Pathol Microbiol 53 (2): 258-61. doi:10.4103/0377-4929.64343. PMID 20551528.
  9. Stangl, PC.; Herbst, F.; Birner, P.; Oberhuber, G. (Apr 2002). "Crohn's disease of the appendix.". Virchows Arch 440 (4): 397-403. doi:10.1007/s004280100532. PMID 11956821.