pattern and clinical presentation of acute appendicitis


Pattern and Clinical Presentation of Acute Appendicitis Abraham D. et al 117 ORIGINAL ARTICLE PATTERN AND CLINICAL PRESENTATION OF ACUTE APPENDICITIS IN ADULTS IN ZEWDITU MEMORIAL HOSPITAL Abraham Deneke 1* , MD, Birhanu Tadesse 2 , MD

  1. Pattern and Clinical Presentation of Acute Appendicitis Abraham D. et al 117 ORIGINAL ARTICLE PATTERN AND CLINICAL PRESENTATION OF ACUTE APPENDICITIS IN ADULTS IN ZEWDITU MEMORIAL HOSPITAL Abraham Deneke 1* , MD, Birhanu Tadesse 2 , MD ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Appendicitis is one of the commonest surgical emergencies encountered in adult and children. The disease is thought to be rare in Africa, however certain studies in Africa didn't substantiate this. The objectives of this study were to determine the pattern, clinical presentation and outcome of surgical intervention in patients with acute appendicitis . METHODS: The study was retrospective analysis of 277 hospital records of patients who had appendectomy from January 1, 1996 to December 31, 1998 in Zewditu Memorial Hospital, Addis Ababa. RESULTS: Of the total 653 acute abdomen cases admitted, 305 (46.7%) were acute appendicitis. Out of the 277,16 (5.8%) patients found to have right lower quadrant mass, which were managed conservatively while 261(94.2%) were operated. Intra operatively it was found that 184(70.6%) were simple, 45(17.4%) perforated 25(9.5%) gangrenous and 7(2.5%) were appendicle abscesses with amputated stump left. Male to Female ratio was 2.6:1 and with peak age occurring between 13-30 years. All patients had abdominal pain, 213 (76.9%) vomiting and195 (70.4%) rebound tenderness. Digital rectal examination was done in 127(45.8%) of which tenderness being elicited in only 80 (63.0%). CONCLUSION: Acute appendicitis is the most common cause of acute abdomen, therefore, physicians should have high index of suspicion if patient presents with acute abdominal pain. [Ethiop J Health Sci. 2003; 13(2): 117-123]. Key words : Acute abdomen, appendicitis, gangrenous appendix, perforated appendix, MC- Burney’s point. INTRODUCTION Acute appendicitis is one of the commonest Although the disease is thought to be rare surgical emergencies encountered in both in Africa (4,5), the findings are children and adults (1). The etiology of controversial since different studies from the disease is not yet defined though most Africa haven't substantiated this and in fact speculate its association with low fiber diet appendicitis is not rare in Africa (6,7). intake based on the high incidence observed in affluent society (2,3). ___________________________ 1 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Jimma University, P. O. Box 378, Jimma, Ethiopia 2 Addis Ababa University, Faculty of Medicine

  2. 118 Ethiop J Health Sci Vol. 13, No. 2 July 2003 For instance, studies carried out in some MATERIALS AND METHODS parts of Africa like Kenyata-National Hospital, Nairobi, in children and adults, in Zewditu Memorial Hospital is a teaching Khartoum as well as in Nigeria by different and referral hospital affiliated with authors indicated that appendicitis is most Department of Surgery, Faculty of common cause of acute abdominal Medicine, Addis Ababa University. It is emergency operations (1,9-11). located in Addis Ababa, the capital city of However, few studies were done in Ethiopia. It has 38 surgical beds for Ethiopia. To date, two studies were elective surgery and additional 8 beds, conducted on children in Ethio-Sweddish which are reserved mostly for emergency Children Hospital (11, 13) and one on all surgical admissions. The hospital gives service for patients’ aged 13 and above. age groups in North West of Ethiopia, Gondar Hospital (13), all of which confirm The source population was all cases of the reports, which have shown that acute abdomen admitted to ZMH from appendicitis is a rare disease in Africa. January 1996 to December 31,1998. A total The gold standard surgical approach for of 653 patients with diagnosis of acute a patient suspected to have acute abdomen were seen. Out of a total 653 appendicitis is transverse or vertical patients with acute abdomen 305 patients incision at MC- Burney’s point i.e., two were cases of appendicitis. Further more third from umbilicus on imaginary line the discharge book showed that 277 drawn between the umbilicus and anterior patients had appendicitis, 16 patients were superior iliac spine. Midline or appendiceal mass and the cards of 28 paramedian, incision is utilized if patients were not available for analysis. presentation of patient is generalized Finally the 261 patients record were peritonitis and diagnosis other than organized, analyzed and presented in this appendicitis as a cause is suspected. The study. rate of normal appendectomy after Records of individual patients noted by presenting with clinical feature of the admitting residents, resident performed appendicitis averages 16 percent (16). the surgery and the consultant on duty Mortality rate from appendicitis in USA during postoperative follow up was has steadily decreased from 9.9 per included in the analysis. The data collected 100,000 in 1939 to 0.2 per 100,000 patients using pre-prepared data collecting format. in 1986 due to better diagnosis and The data were entered, edited and analyzed treatment (16), but higher for developing using EPI-Info statistical software and countries. presented using frequency tables and Thus, knowledge on prevalence, figures. etiology and complications of this disease Definition of terms: Acute abdomen would enable better preparation for defined as acute abdominal pain of sudden preventive work as well as for reduction of onset, is an emergency state which usually morbidity, mortality and cost of health requires surgical intervention. care. This study attempted to determine the Permission from the department of pattern, clinical presentation and out come surgery of ZMH was secured verbally to of surgical intervention in adult patients review patients card for this study. presented with acute abdominal problem to Zewditu Memorial Hospital (ZMH), Addis Ababa.

  3. Pattern and Clinical Presentation of Acute Appendicitis Abraham D. et al 119 The time lapse between the onset of RESULTS symptoms and patient presentation to the During the three years a total of 653 hospital is shown in Fig1. Majority, 164 patients were admitted with the diagnosis (59.2%) presented within 1-3 days and 64 of acute abdomen of which 305 (46.7%) (23.1%) with 4 or more days after the onset patients presented with a clinical diagnosis of symptoms while only 47 (17.7%) of acute appendicitis. Out of the 305 presented in the first 24 hours of onset of patients’ records, 277 (90.8%) were symptoms. retrieved for analysis and the remaining cards could not be traced. Table 1. Distribution of Cases of Out of the 277 patients, 201 (72.6%) appendicitis by Age, Zewditu Memorial were males and 76 (27.4%) were females, Hospital, Addis Ababa, January 1996- giving male to female ratio of 2.6:1. One December 1998 hundred sixty four (59.5%) of cases came from Addis Ababa, 26 (9.4%) from outside Age in Number Percent Addis and the addresses of the remaining year of cases 87 (31.4%) patients was not recorded. The <20 112 40.5 age at presentation ranged from 13-75 21-30 100 36.1 years with mean ages of 25.6 years. The 31-40 44 15.9 majority of cases, 212 (76.5%) occurred 41-50 14 5.0 between the ages of 13 and 30 years >50 7 2.5 (Table 1). Total 277 100 35 30 25 20 % 15 10 5 0 <12 12-23- 24-28 49-72 >72 Time in Hours Fig 1. Distribution of time lapse during presentation to Hospital, Zewdity Memorial Hospital, Addis Ababa, January 1996-Dec 1998

  4. 120 Ethiop J Health Sci Vol. 13, No. 2 July 2003 The clinical presenting pattern is shown which 49.4% had count between 4000- 1100 cells/mm 3 and the rest had a count in Fig 2. Shifting abdominal pain and greater than 1100/mm 3 . vomiting were the commonest symptoms while right lower quadrant tenderness and Out of the 277 clinically diagnosed rebound tenderness were the commonest cases of acute appendicitis 261 were signs. Digital rectal examination was operated and 16 were found to have mass at recorded only for 127 (45.8%) patients, out right lower quadrant of the abdomen of which 63.0%was found to have right examination. The later were managed lower quadrant tenderness. Anorexia was conservatively and discharged with not recorded in all patients. improvement and advised to come back for White blood cell (WBC) count was interval appendectomy. done for 217 (78.3%) patients. Out of 100 100 92.4 90 76.9 80 70.4 70 60 % 50 35.2 40 30 13.7 20 7.6 7.6 6.9 10 0 Pain Vomiting Nausea Diarrhea Constipation Tenderness Tenderness Mass Tenderness Generalized Localized Rebound Fig 2. Distribution of Clinical Presentation of Patient with Acute Appendicitis, ZMH, AA, Jan 1996-December 1998

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