Appendiceal Colic

by Dr. Moshe Ipp

What is appendiceal colic?

Unexplained recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) is a frequent symptom in childhood. An organic cause is found in only 10% of cases. It is believed that in some children, partial luminal obstruction of the appendix by an inspissated cast of stool, may be one of the causes of this pain. The term appendiceal colic has been used to describe this syndrome. Surgeons who recommended elective appendectomy for these patients require that certain criteria be met prior to operating on the patient. These include a history of abdominal pain for more than one month, three or more recurrent attacks of right lower quadrant (RLQ) abdominal pain and localized tenderness in the RLQ without signs of peritoneal irritation. Radiological findings at barium examination may support the clinical findings and consist of filling defects of the appendix, non-visualization of the appendix and retained barium.

Reference: Gorenstin A. et al. J Am Coll Surg 996;182:246-250,

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