Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to appendicitis: appendix, gallbladder, appendicitis pain, Kidney stones


inflammation of the vermiform appendix



inflammation of the vermiform extension of the cecum—the appendix. Appendicitis afflicts persons of all ages (except infants). The reasons for the occurrence of appendicitis are not always clear. Microbes that are always present in the vermiform appendix may become pathogenic as a result of prolonged holding of fecal masses in the cecum and in the appendix (with certain peculiarities of location of the appendix or of its folding, etc.), of accumulation of small intestinal worms in the appendix, of obstruction of the lumen of the appendix by a foreign body swallowed with food or by a small lump of hardened feces. Sluggishness of the large intestine—that is, a tendency to constipation—fosters the development of appendicitis. The neurovascular theory explains the occurrence of appendicitis by disruption of blood circulation in the appendix resulting from irritation of the nervous system. Morbidity from appendicitis increases with abundant use of meat products, especially canned meats. Appendicitis may occur in acute or chronic form.

Acute appendicitis. The principal obligatory symptom is abdominal pain on the lower right (in the iliac area, the location of the appendix), sometimes occurring suddenly (like a stab), sometimes coming on by degrees but still very quickly. Often the pain is first felt mainly in the area of the navel and in the pit of the stomach, and only after some time does the pain move into the iliac area. Nausea is almost always present and, later, vomiting occurs. The temperature rises to 37.5°-38.5°C or remains normal, especially in persons of advanced age. Blood counts reveal moderate increases in leucocytes. In favorable cases, attacks last no more than 24 hours, then all symptoms subside. More frequently, if timely measures are not taken, the inflammation spreads to the abdominal cavity and peritonitis develops. In that case, rapid adhesion of the intestinal loops to each other and to the omentum takes place, which may halt further spread of the infection beyond the cecum (localized peritonitis). However, sharp movement by the patient and especially ingestion of a laxative threaten disruption of the formed adhesions and the development of diffuse peritonitis (sharp intensification of pain, resumption of vomiting). In the most serious cases of acute appendicitis, the appendix necrotizes (gangrenous appendicitis) or ruptures (perforative appendicitis); an enormous number of microbes enter the abdominal cavity and diffuse peritonitis immediately develops.

The treatment for acute appendicitis is immediate surgery (appendectomy). The only first aid before the arrival of a physician is complete rest. Hot water bottles, enemas, and laxatives are forbidden. Analgesics (preparations of belladonna, opium, Pantopon, morphine, etc.) are also not to be given because they obscure the picture of the disease and hinder its diagnosis. Surgery is performed in the first day of the disease. If the attack has passed without surgery, complete recovery does not occur. In the majority of cases the attack repeats itself sooner or later (relapsing appendicitis), often more severely each time. When the operation is not performed in time, an obvious delimitation of the inflammatory process occurs, and the operation is post-poned until the infiltrate formed in the abdominal cavity is reabsorbed (fixation). When the infiltrate festers (abscess in the abdominal cavity), treatment is limited to lancing it; an operation is indicated for later. In the absence of symptoms of delimitation and growing indications of peritonitis, emergency surgery is performed any time after onset of the attack.

Chronic appendicitis. The chronic form of the disease usually develops after the person has suffered an acute attack; however, primary chronic appendicitis develops gradually. Chronic appendicitis is manifested by more or less constant pain on the right side of the abdomen or in the epigastrium, sometimes spasmodically intensifying, by functional disruptions of the intestines (constipation or diarrhea), and by nausea. Short attacks (one to two hours or less) are also possible; this known as appendiceal colic. Chronic appendicitis may become acute at any moment. The treatment for chronic appendicitis is removal of the vermiform appendix.


Brzhozovskii, A. G. Appenditsit. Kuibyshev, 1960.


Inflammation of the vermiform appendix.
References in periodicals archive ?
Elyse Kharbanda, co-Principal Investigators, will work with Health Partners Emergency Departments (Minnesota) and Kaiser Permanente Northern California to implement sophisticated, electronic clinical decision support tools for children with possible appendicitis across 14 general emergency departments.
The standard treatment for appendicitis has been to surgically remove the appendix, a cigarette-sized pouch near the start of the large intestine.
The myriad appearances of the appendix can make diagnosis of acute appendicitis challenging.
He admitted that the current season has not been "great" for him after suffering from wrist injury and appendicitis.
Once the appendicitis is diagnosed, the child is prepared for the emergency procedure by administering antibiotics and disinfecting the umbilicus.
Despite the health and economic impacts of this disease, the pathogenesis of appendicitis remains largely unknown.
His official website said: "A diagnosis of appendix abscess surrounding a retrocaecal appendicitis has been confirmed.
Researchers from the University of Oxforf d and Stoke Mandeville Hospital quizzed 101 patients who were referred to hospital for suspected appendicitis earlier this year - 64 of whom travelled over speed bumps en route to hospital.
Clinical diagnosis of acute appendicitis can be difficult and yet it is the most common surgical abdominal emergency.
In the first study she compares surgery with antibiotic therapy, while in the second patients with appendicitis were treated with antibiotics as first-line therapy.
1A) depicts a thickened appendix measuring >12mm with periappendiceal fluid suggestive of acute appendicitis.
They chose randomised controlled trials of adult patients presenting with uncomplicated acute appendicitis, diagnosed by haematological and radiological investigations.