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Minerva Chirurgica 2008 December;63(6):469-74


language: English

Correlation between high-resolution ultrasound and surgical/pathological findings in patients with suspected appendicitis

Zampieri N. 1, Corroppolo M. 1, El Dalati G. 2, Giacomello L. 1, Maximilian Cervellione R. 3, Camoglio F. S. 1

1 Department of Surgical Sciences Pediatric Surgical Unit, University of Verona Policlinico “G. B. Rossi”, Verona, Italy 2 Department of Radiology, University of Verona, Policlinico ”G. B. Rossi”, Verona, Italy 3 Department of Pediatric Urology, Central Manchester and Manchester Children’s University Hospitals, Manchester, UK


Aim. Clinical diagnosis of appendicitis in children is often difficult. The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of ultrasound with graded compressed technique in cases with suspected appendicitis.
Methods. A radiological classification of appendicitis was formulated associated with the surgical/histological degree. Afterwards, 92 patients with suspected appendicitis enrolled in this study were prospectively evaluated and managed to follow a new protocol based on the clinical and radiological experiences. In this study, the ultrasonography was considered positive when the diameter of the wall of the appendix was larger than 7 mm and vascularization was increased or absent.
Results. Of these 92 patients, 54 patients underwent surgery while 38 were treated conservatively. Of the treated group, 12 patients had a perforated appendicitis, 3 had a gangrenous appendicitis, 36 patients demonstrated a phlegmonous appendix while 3 patients had a catarrhal appendix. Blood cell counts and CRP levels were significantly higher in patients with appendicitis (P<0.05) and WBC and CRP levels were higher for patients with perforated appendicitis compared with patients with simple appendicitis (P<0.05). A CRP value higher than 17 mg/dL was a strong predictor for the presence of infection. Three patients of the conservative group underwent surgery later for recurrent abdominal pain (within 2 weeks); two had a catarrhal appendix while one patient had a normal appendix (confirmed by histology)
Conclusion. Patients with suspected appendicitis could be managed with ultrasound, suggesting an early approach. The selection of patients for surgery prevent complication and unnecessary surgery.

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