Ultrasonography of normal and abnormal appendix in children

World J Radiol. 2011 Apr 28;3(4):85-91. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v3.i4.85.


Appendicitis is the most common acute surgical emergency of childhood. Since the original report by Puylaert in 1986, the use of ultrasonography in the diagnosis of appendicitis has been the subject of considerable study. Among the reported diagnostic criteria, the maximal outer diameter (MOD) of the appendix is accepted as the one of the most reliable criteria used to differentiate between a normal appendix and acute appendicitis. However, MOD measurement is subject to inaccuracies because luminal distention by non-compressible, non-inflammatory material such as fecal material, or increased maximal mural thickness due to reactive mucosal lymphoid hyperplasia, or a medical cause due to a generalized gastrointestinal disease, such as Crohn's disease, can cause the measurement to exceed the upper limits of normality. The aim of this article is to introduce the spectrum of ultrasonographic findings in the normal and abnormal appendix and eventually to reduce unnecessary surgery in children.

Keywords: Acute appendicitis; Appendix; Children; Ultrasonography.