Diagnosis of acute appendicitis

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7303.50 (Published 07 July 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:50

Appendicitis is a separate clinical entity in men and women

  1. Luke Devey (gbdr0556@doctors.org.uk), basic surgical trainee,
  2. James Henderson, basic surgical trainee,
  3. Christian Wakefield, lecturer in surgery
  1. Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH3 9DY
  2. Department of Surgery, John Hunter Hospital, NSW 2310, Australia

    EDITOR—We read with interest the randomised controlled trial of ultrasonography in the diagnosis of acute appendicitis reported by Douglas et al.1 This trial would add more to the literature if it were to acknowledge sex differences in the management of abdominal pain.

    On every surgical take, the investigation of pain in the right iliac fossa differs between men and women. Often women have an ultrasound examination of the pelvis and abdomen primarily to exclude gynaecological or pelvic pathology. Conversely, men are much more commonly assessed by repeated …

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