Appendagitis, a Rare Cause of Abdominal Pain
The differential list of potential causes of abdominal pain is pretty long. Like most differentials, though, it usually boils down to a handful of more common etiologies benign and serious. Potentially life- or organ-threatening conditions such as appendicitis, diverticulitis, or ovarian or testicular torsion simply cannot be misdiagnosed and usually aren't missed.We frequently find ourselves walking into the patient's room at the end of an extensive and exhaustive workup and announcing the good news that the cause of the pain isn't one of these more serious causes. As emergency physicians working in an uncontrolled and tactical environment, we get used to reassuring patients that it isn't something serious even though we are unable to provide a definitive diagnosis.If we admit it, deep down we share a little bit of the frustration expressed by our internist colleagues who by self-report experience a degree of psychic pain when stuck with a differential list instead of a definitive diagnosis for a patient's complaint. We may also find ourselves quietly avoiding our frustration with having exposed the patient to the CT scan's radiation or the expense of sequential tests such as a screening ultrasound only to find "enlarged lymph nodes," "a small amount of free fluid," or a few normal appearing ovarian cysts.Epiploic appendagitis is one diagnosis, albeit rare, that allows the emergency physician to give the patient pretty much all-around good news. Mak...
Source: M2E Too! Mellick's Multimedia EduBlog - Category: Emergency Medicine Tags: Blog Posts Source Type: blogs
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