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Ultrasonography. 2018 Jul;37(3):233-243. English. Original Article.
Kwon LM , Lee K , Min SK , Ahn SM , Ha HI , Kim MJ .
Department of Radiology, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Anyang, Korea.
Department of Pathology, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Anyang, Korea.
Department of Pediatric Surgery, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Anyang, Korea.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ultrasonographic findings of secondary appendicitis (SA) and to discuss the differential findings compared with primary appendicitis.


In this study, we analyzed the ultrasonographic findings of 94 patients under 15 years old of age treated at our institution from May 2005 to May 2014 who had bowel inflammation and an inflamed appendix with a maximal outer diameter >6 mm that improved with nonsurgical treatment (the SA group). Ninety-nine patients with pathologically proven acute appendicitis (the primary appendicitis [PA] group) from June 2013 to May 2014 and 44 patients with pathologically negative appendectomy results from May 2005 to May 2014 were also included to compare the ultrasonographic features of these conditions. A retrospective review of the ultrasonographic findings was performed by two radiologists. The clinical and laboratory findings were also reviewed. The results were statically analyzed using analysis of variance, the Pearson chi-square test, and the two-tailed Fisher exact test.


Compared with PA, cases of SA had a smaller diameter (9.8 mm vs. 6.6 mm, P < 0.001), and were less likely to show periappendiceal fat inflammation (98% vs. 6%, P < 0.001) or an appendicolith (34% vs. 11%, P < 0.001). SA showed mural hyperemia on color Doppler ultrasonography as frequently as PA (P=0.887).


The ultrasonographic features of SA included an increased diameter compared to a healthy appendix and the same level of hyperemia as in PA. However, the diameter was commonly in the equivocal range (mean diameter, 6.6 mm), and periappendiceal fat inflammation was rarely present in SA.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.