Location of the appendix in the gravid patient: a re-evaluation of the established concept

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2003 Jun;81(3):245-7. doi: 10.1016/s0020-7292(03)00074-2.


Objectives: To determine the anatomical location of the appendix, as it may change during pregnancy.

Methods: In this prospective study conducted from October 1995 to March 1999, 291 women of reproductive age were evaluated for appendix location. They were divided into three groups: group A, 165 women between 37 and 40 weeks of pregnancy who underwent elective cesarean delivery; group B, 26 women between 19 and 39 weeks of gestation with acute appendicitis who underwent appendectomy; and group C (the control group), 100 non-pregnant women with acute appendicitis who underwent appendectomy. Appendix location was considered normal within 2 cm of the McBurney point; otherwise, it was considered to be a position change.

Results: In group A, 2 (15%) of 165 women and in group B, 6 (23%) of 26 women had a change in the position of the appendix. In the control group, 17% had change in position. There were no significant differences between group A and B compared with group C. In group B, no relation between height of fundus and point of tenderness was seen.

Conclusion: Our study did not show that pregnancy changes the location of the appendix.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Appendectomy
  • Appendicitis / pathology*
  • Appendicitis / surgery
  • Appendix / pathology*
  • Appendix / surgery
  • Cesarean Section
  • Concept Formation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / pathology*
  • Pregnancy Complications / surgery
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Prospective Studies