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Ultrasound signs

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Ultrasound scanning has not found wide favour in the diagnosis of appendicitis. Sensitivity and specificity rates of greater than 80% have been reported, but these are in ideal circumstances. Adequate scanning is prevented by the presence of excessive tenderness and rigidity as this prevents adequate compression of abdomen to displace overlying loops of small bowel which would otherwise obscure the view.

Ultrasonographic signs of appendicitis include:

  • non-compressible viscus
  • thickened appendiceal wall
  • increased diameter of appendix greater than 6mm

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