Daily Bolus of LR: Appendicitis on CT

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June 15, 2011 by dailybolusoflr



Appendicitis is most commonly diagnosed on CT of the abdomen and pelvis.


A non-contrast CT  is about 90% and with contrast (oral or IV) the sensitivity increases to around 97-98%.  CT also has a high specificity, around 94-95%.


There are many findings on CT which are suspicious for appendicitis and they include the following:

·         A fecalith

·         Stranding in the surrounding fat or periappendiceal fluid

·         Surrounding abscess or phlegmon


The classic finding for appendicitis seen on CT (A dilated thickened tubular appearing appendix, greater than 6mm, with inflammatory stranding) can be seen here on EMPACS:

(type in search term of “appendicitis”)






Additional images can be viewed here




Linda Regan, MD FACEP

Program Director, Emergency Medicine Residency

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions


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