Acute appendicitis is one of the most common causes of an acute abdomen in the Western world. In 90% of cases the infection develops as a result of obstruction of the appendix, for example, by a faecolith or an engorged lymphoid system, for example by a viral infection.
It is the most common surgical emergency of childhood, with three or four children per 1000 having their appendix removed every year.
This condition can occur at any age but in children it is most often seen over five years of age.
Last reviewed 01/2018