Appendicitis – inflammation of the vermiform appendix.
With an incidence of 1 in 4,000 children under the age of 14 in the United States this is the most common condition requiring emergency surgical intervention in children. Sonography is the primary method of imaging for appendicitis.
Normal Anatomy: The normal appendix is a tubular, compressible structure that should arise from the cecal tip approximately 1 cm below the terminal ileum. It is usually anterior to the psoas muscle and iliac vessels.
Ultrasound Diagnostic Criteria: The accepted criteria for diagnosing an acute appendicitis by ultrasonography are the identification of a non-compressible, non-peristaltic blind-ending tubular structure in the longitudinal axis and target like appearance in transverse. The diameter should not exceed 6 mm when measured outer-to- outer. An Appendicolith may be present however is not present in all reported cases.
Munden MM, Hill JG. Ultrasound of the acute abdomen in children. Ultrasound Clin. 2010;5:113-135
Donald Venes, eds. Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary: Publisher; 2009.