Imaging as an aid to the diagnosis of acute appendicitis
AbstractAcute appendicitis has been known as a disease entity for well over a century but a confident diagnosis before surgeryin all patients suspected of the condition is still not possible. Timely diagnosis is essential to minimise morbidity due topossible perforation of the inflamed organ in the event treatment is delayed; so much so that surgeons often preferredto operate at the slightest suspicion of the diagnosis in the past. This resulted in the removal of many normal appendixes.When the diagnosis of appendicitis is clear from the history and clinical examination, then no further investigation isnecessary and prompt surgical treatment is appropriate. Where there is doubt about the diagnosis however it is advisableto resort to imaging studies such as abdominal ultrasound or computed tomography to clear such suspicions beforesubjecting the patient to an appendicectomy. These studies would also help avoid delays in surgery in deserving patients.
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