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The Incidence Of Negative Appendicectomy Among Teenage Girls - Abstract

Ike Njere, Nada Sudakharan, Ruth Nash, Bruce Okoye



Introduction: Acute appendicitis is the commonest surgical cause of an acute abdomen in children and adolescents. It can be a difficult diagnosis to make in the adolescent female. The aim of this study was to identify the negative appendicectomy rate in teenage girls.

Method: A 10 year retrospective analysis (March 1996 - February 2007) of all patients aged 0-16years that presented to our institution and underwent appendicectomy was done. The original histology reports and case records were reviewed. Incidental and interval appendicectomies were excluded. Means were compared using the Student’s t test and medians compared using the Mann-Whitney U test. Discrete variables were compared using the Chi-square test.

Result: 424 children with acute abdominal symptoms underwent appendicectomy during the 10 year period. Normal histology of the appendix was identified in 56 (13.2%). The negative appendicectomy rate among females was 19.6% compared to 10.5% in males. (p=0.006) In females aged 13-16, 30% had a negative appendicectomy compared to 9% of males in the same age bracket (p=0.002). Females less than 13 years had a negative appendicectomy rate of 14.4% (p=0.02 vs females aged 13-16). Males less than 13 years had a negative appendicectomy rate of 11%. This was not significant when compared to females in the same age group.

Conclusions: A third of teenage girls undergoing appendicectomy do not have appendicitis. These results suggest that in this age group further investigation may be warranted to reduce the overall negative appendicectomy rates.

Key words: Acute appendicitis, Negative appendicectomy, Teenage girls


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