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Slide 1 - Acute Appendicitis Dr Ibrahim Bashayreh
Slide 2 - Epidemiology The incidence of appendectomy appears to be declining due to more accurate preoperative diagnosis. Despite newer imaging techniques, acute appendicitis can be very difficult to diagnose.
Slide 3 - Pathophysiology Acute appendicitis is thought to begin with obstruction of the lumen Obstruction can result from food matter, adhesions, or lymphoid hyperplasia Mucosal secretions continue to increase intraluminal pressure
Slide 4 - Pathophysiology Eventually the pressure exceeds capillary perfusion pressure and venous and lymphatic drainage are obstructed. With vascular compromise, epithelial mucosa breaks down and bacterial invasion by bowel flora occurs.
Slide 5 - Pathophysiology Increased pressure also leads to arterial stasis and tissue infarction End result is perforation and spillage of infected appendiceal contents into the peritoneum
Slide 6 - Pathophysiology Initial luminal distention triggers visceral afferent pain fibers, which enter at the 10th thoracic vertebral level. This pain is generally vague and poorly localized. Pain is typically felt in the periumbilical or epigastric area.
Slide 7 - Pathophysiology As inflammation continues, the serosa and adjacent structures become inflamed This triggers somatic pain fibers, innervating the peritoneal structures. Typically causing pain in the RLQ
Slide 8 - Pathophysiology The change in stimulation form visceral to somatic pain fibers explains the classic migration of pain in the periumbilical area to the RLQ seen with acute appendicitis.
Slide 9 - Pathophysiology Exceptions exist in the classic presentation due to anatomic variability of the appendix Appendix can be retrocecal causing the pain to localize to the right flank In pregnancy, the appendix ca be shifted and patients can present with RUQ pain
Slide 10 - Pathophysiology In some males, retroileal appendicitis can irritate the ureter and cause testicular pain. Pelvic appendix may irritate the bladder or rectum causing suprapubic pain, pain with urination, or feeling the need to defecate Multiple anatomic variations explain the difficulty in diagnosing appendicitis
Slide 11 - History Primary symptom: abdominal pain ½ to 2/3 of patients have the classical presentation Pain beginning in epigastrium or periumbilical area that is vague and hard to localize
Slide 12 - History Associated symptoms: indigestion, discomfort, flatus, need to defecate, anorexia, nausea, vomiting As the illness progresses RLQ localization typically occurs RLQ pain was 81 % sensitive and 53% specific for diagnosis
Slide 13 - History Migration of pain from initial periumbilical to RLQ was 64% sensitive and 82% specific Anorexia is the most common of associated symptoms Vomiting is more variable, occuring in about ½ of patients
Slide 14 - Physical Exam Findings depend on duration of illness prior to exam. Early on patients may not have localized tenderness With progression there is tenderness to deep palpation over McBurney’s point
Slide 15 - Physical Exam McBurney’s Point: just below the middle of a line connecting the umbilicus and the ASIS Rovsing’s: pain in RLQ with palpation to LLQ Rectal exam: pain can be most pronounced if the patient has pelvic appendix
Slide 16 - Physical Exam Additional components that may be helpful in diagnosis: rebound tenderness, voluntary guarding, muscular rigidity, tenderness on rectal
Slide 17 - Physical Exam Psoas sign: place patient in L lateral decubitus and extend R leg at the hip. If there is pain with this movement, then the sign is positive. Obturator sign: passively flex the R hip and knee and internally rotate the hip. If there is increased pain then the sign is positive
Slide 18 - Physical Exam Fever: another late finding. At the onset of pain fever is usually not found. Temperatures >39 C are uncommon in first 24 h, but not uncommon after rupture
Slide 19 - Diagnosis Acute appendicitis should be suspected in anyone with epigastric, periumbilical, right flank, or right sided abd pain who has not had an appendectomy
Slide 20 - Diagnosis Women of child bearing age need a pelvic exam and a pregnancy test. Additional studies: CBC, UA, imaging studies
Slide 21 - Diagnosis CBC: the WBC is of limited value. Sensitivity of an elevated WBC is 70-90%, but specificity is very low. But, +predictive value of high WBC is 92% and –predictive value is 50% C-Reactive Protien CRP (independent surgical indication marker for appendicitis) and ESR have been studied with mixed results
Slide 22 - Diagnosis UA: abnormal UA results are found in 19-40% Abnormalities include: pyuria, hematuria, bacteruria Presence of >20 wbc per field should increase consideration of Urinary tract pathology
Slide 23 - Diagnosis Imaging studies: include X-rays, US, CT Xrays of abd are abnormal in 24-95% Abnormal findings include: fecalith, appendiceal gas, localized paralytic ileu, and free air Abdominal xrays have limited use b/c the findings are seen in multiple other processes
Slide 24 - Diagnosis Graded Compression US: reported sensitivity 94.7% and specificity 88.9% Basis of this technique is that normal bowel and appendix can be compressed whereas an inflamed appendix can not be compressed
Slide 25 - Diagnosis Limitations of US: retrocecal appendix may not be visualized, perforations may be missed due to return to normal diameter
Slide 26 - Diagnosis CT: best choice based on availability and alternative diagnoses. In one study, CT had greater sensitivity, accuracy, -predictive value Even if appendix is not visualized, diagnose can be made with localized fat stranding in RLQ.
Slide 27 - Diagnosis CT appears to change management decisions and decreases unnecessary appendectomies in women, but it is not as useful for changing management in men.
Slide 28 - Special Populations Very young, very old, pregnant, and HIV patients present atypically and often have delayed diagnosis High index of suspicion is needed in the these groups to get an accurate diagnosis
Slide 29 - Treatment Appendectomy is the standard of care Patients should be NPO, given IVF, and preoperative antibiotics Antibiotics are most effective when given preoperatively and they decrease post-op infections and abscess formation