Discontinuous appendiceal involvement in ulcerative colitis: pathology and clinical correlation

J Gastrointest Surg. 1999 Mar-Apr;3(2):141-4. doi: 10.1016/s1091-255x(99)80023-7.


Continuous mucosal involvement from the rectum proximally is one of the hallmarks of ulcerative colitis. However, recent pathologic series report appendiceal ulcerative colitis in the presence of a histologically normal cecum, representing a "skip" lesion. The clinical significance of this finding has not been established. Eighty patients, 54 males and 26 females, average age 37.9 years (range 14 to 82 years) who underwent proctocolectomy for ulcerative colitis from January 1990 to September 1995 were examined to determine the rate of discontinuous appendiceal involvement. Excluded were 12 patients with prior appendectomy and 11 with fibrotic obliteration of the appendiceal lumen. Of the remaining 57 patients, seven (12.3%) had clear appendiceal involvement in the presence of a histologically normal cecum. These seven patients clinically were indistinguishable from the 50 patients without skip involvement of the appendix in terms of age at surgery, pretreatment medications, type of surgery, interval from diagnosis to definitive procedure, complications, functional results, and clinical course. Discontinuous appendiceal involvement was found in 12.3% of patients undergoing proctocolectomy for ulcerative colitis, and clinically these patients behave as those without this feature.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Appendicitis / pathology*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / pathology*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Male
  • Medical Records
  • Middle Aged
  • Proctocolectomy, Restorative
  • Retrospective Studies