R Brooke Jeffrey

Publication Details

  • Pathologic Continuum of Acute Appendicitis Sonographic Findings and Clinical Management Implications ULTRASOUND QUARTERLY Chan, L., Shin, L. K., Pai, R. K., Jeffrey, R. B. 2011; 27 (2): 71-79


    Appendicitis is one of the most common causes of the acute abdomen often requiring emergent surgery. Delayed diagnosis leads to the progression of uncomplicated appendicitis to complicated (gangrenous, perforated) appendicitis, often changing clinical management. Computed tomography and ultrasound are imaging modalities of choice to preoperatively diagnose appendicitis. Recent concerns of radiation exposure and cost have renewed interest in using ultrasound as an initial, diagnostic study. A sonographic pictorial and histopathologic review of the continuum of appendicitis is presented. A comprehensive sonographic examination of the appendix should investigate the size (maximal diameter), the echogenic submucosal layer integrity, the mural color Doppler signature, the presence of a fecalith, and the periappendiceal changes. Features of an uncomplicated appendicitis include size greater than 6 to 7 mm, hyperemia on color Doppler, mural thickening, and an intact echogenic submucosal layer. Gangrenous appendicitis is characterized by loss of the echogenic submucosal layer with absent color Doppler flow. Loculated pericecal fluid, prominent pericecal fat, and circumferential loss of the submucosal layer are suggestive of perforation. Sonographic staging can triage management of appendicitis by directing urgent laparoscopic appendectomy for uncomplicated appendicitis, open appendectomy for complicated appendicitis, and conservative management (antibiotics with percutaneous drainage) for perforated appendicitis with abscess formation.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000297527300002

    View details for PubMedID 21606789

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