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Flashcards in Appendicitis Deck (6)
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1

What is appendicitis.

Inflammation of the vermiform appendix (arises from the caecum).

2

What is the incidence of appendicitis.

Lifetime incidence = 7%.
It is rare in the very old and very young. (rare in very young because the appendix is cone shaped with a larger lumen)
It is most common in those aged 10-20.

3

What causes appendicitis.

It is due to a bacterial infection secondary to luminal obstruction (most often a faecalith or lymphoid hyperplasia)
This then leads to oedema, ischaemic necrosis and perforation.

4

What are the symptoms of appendicitis. (7)

Anorexia.
Furred tongue.
Pain on coughing.
Foetor and/or flushing.
Shallow breathing.
Classically a colicky central abdominal pain (inflammation of the appendix) followed by a localisation of pain to the RIF (inflammation of overlying peritoneum).
Nausea, vomiting and constipation/diarrhoea are variable.

5

What are the signs of appendicitis. (6)

Low grade pyrexia.
Patient tries to minimize movements.
RIF tenderness.
Guarding and rebound/percussion tenderness.
Right sided tenderness on PR.
Rovsing's sign: RIF pain on palpation of LIF.

6

What is the differential diagnosis for appendicitis. (6)

Ectopic pregnancy.
Ovarian torsion.
Diverticulitis (although pain is more common in LIF)
Pelvic inflammatory disease.
Crohn's disease.
Mesenteric adenitis.