Appendicitis is the most commonly performed emergency abdominal surgery.
The appendix can also be the site of a variety of neoplasms and unusual inflammatory conditions.
Dr Ravi Marudanayagam and colleagues from England determined the pathological diagnoses in appendicectomy specimens.
The researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of 2660 appendicectomies performed from 1997 to 2003.
The reports were analyzed for several parameters.
These parameters included age-related incidence of acute appendicitis, seasonal variation in presentation, and perforation rate.
| The negative appendicectomy rate was 29%|
|Journal of Gastroenterology|
The team also assessed the rate of negative and incidental appendicectomy, and the incidence of other pathologies encountered.
The researchers observed acute appendicitis in 65% of patients, with a peak in patients in their second decade, presenting in 35% of cases.
The perforation rate was 14%, and was significantly higher in patients aged 70 years or more.
The team found that the negative appendicectomy rate was 29%, and was significantly higher in female patients, and in the 11 to 30 year age group.
Other pathologies include carcinoid, adenocarcinoma, and mucinous cystadenoma, all found in less than 1% of patients.
Dr Marudanayagam's team concludes, “The high rate of negative appendicectomy among female patients and the increased incidence of perforation in elderly patients reinforce the validity of the judicious use of laparoscopy in these populations.”
“There are still a number of unusual histologies found in appendicectomy specimens supporting the continued use of routine histology. “