The contribution of transvaginal ultrasound in the diagnosis of acute appendicitis: an observational study

Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Mar;21(3):273-6. doi: 10.1002/uog.72.


Objective: To assess the contribution of transvaginal and transabdominal sonography in the diagnosis of acute appendicitis.

Methods: The study group included female patients in whom acute appendicitis was diagnosed preoperatively by ultrasound and confirmed by histology. Each patient was examined by transabdominal (TAS) and transvaginal (TVS) sonography. The contribution of both approaches to the diagnosis of acute appendicitis was assessed.

Results: Acute appendicitis was diagnosed sonographically in 38 women. In all of them the diagnosis was confirmed histologically. All patients had both TAS and TVS. In 16 (42%) patients the inflamed appendix was detected by both approaches, in 13 (34%) only by the transabdominal route and in nine (24%) only transvaginally. Thus, TAS detected only 76% of the cases and TVS added 24%.

Conclusion: The use of TVS in conjunction with TAS seems to improve the detection rate of acute appendicitis.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Appendicitis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Appendicitis / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Ultrasonography / methods
  • Vagina