Imaging of Acute Appendicitis in Adults: Ultrasonography

  • R. Brooke Jeffrey
Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


Although ultrasound has been used diagnostically in patients with right lower quadrant pain and possible appendicitis since the 1980s, there has recently been renewed interest in this technique due to increasing concerns over radiation exposure with abdominal CT. Although overall slightly less accurate than CT for the diagnosis of appendicitis, ultrasonography has several distinct advantages, such as lack of ionizing radiation or intravenous contrast and low cost. Keys to success for this technique include a thorough understanding of the graded-compression technique using both grayscale and color-Doppler sonography. In addition, the concept of “staging of appendicitis” is presented, since different treatment options may be selected for patients who have gangrenous or perforated appendicitis, rather than the standard laparoscopic appendectomy for early uncomplicated appendicitis. Finally, alternative diagnoses of the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tract that clinically mimic appendicitis are discussed.


Acute Appendicitis Laparoscopic Appendectomy Normal Appendix Lower Quadrant Pain Uncomplicated Appendicitis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA

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