Risk of appendiceal neoplasm after interval appendectomy for complicated appendicitis: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Surgeon. 2021 Dec;19(6):e549-e558. doi: 10.1016/j.surge.2021.01.010. Epub 2021 Feb 25.


Background: Non-operative management is often the treatment of choice in cases of complicated appendicitis and routine interval appendectomy is not usually recommended. Actually, recent studies show an alarming number of appendiceal neoplasms following interval appendectomy. The aim of this study is to evaluate the prevalence of appendiceal neoplasms and their histological types after interval appendectomy for complicated appendicitis in adults.

Methods: A comprehensive literature search of the PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science databases was conducted according to the PRISMA statement. Studies reporting appendiceal neoplasm rates after interval appendectomy and histopathological characteristics were included. The most recent World Health Organization (WHO) classification of malignant tumours was considered. A pooled prevalence analysis for both prevalence and pathology was performed.

Results: A total of eight studies was included: seven retrospective series and one randomized controlled trial. The pooled prevalence of neoplasms after interval appendectomy was 11% (95% CI 7-15; I2 = 37.5%, p = 0.13). Appendiceal mucinous neoplasms occurred in 43% (95% CI 19-68), adenocarcinoma in 29% (95% CI 6-51), appendiceal neuroendocrine neoplasm in 21% (95% CI 6-36), globet cell carcinoma in 13% (95% CI -2-28), adenoma or serrated lesions in 20% (95% CI -0-41) of cases.

Conclusion: The risk of appendiceal neoplasm in patients treated with interval appendectomy for complicated appendicitis is 11%; mucinous neoplasm is the most common histopathological type. Further studies should investigate this association in order to clarify the biological pathway and clinical implications.

Keywords: Appendiceal neoplasm; Appendicular inflammatory mass; Complicated appendicitis; Interval appendectomy.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma*
  • Appendectomy / adverse effects
  • Appendiceal Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Appendiceal Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Appendicitis* / epidemiology
  • Appendicitis* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Retrospective Studies