What About Appendicitis and Pregnancy? Is There a Systematic Approach to Save Time, Reduce Radiation, and Make Everyone Happy?

  • Philippa N. Soskin


Appendicitis is the most common non-obstetric surgical emergency in pregnancy. Given increased fetal mortality with both appendicitis and negative appendectomy, timely and accurate diagnosis is essential. Guidelines from both obstetrics and radiology recommend ultrasound (US) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as initial diagnostic modalities of choice and that computed tomography (CT) can and should be used if US and MRI are inaccessible or inconclusive. In utero exposure to radiation from diagnostic imaging has not been found to increase the risk of prenatal death, malformation, or impairment of central nervous system development. There is an increased risk of childhood cancer; however this is relatively small when compared to fetal mortality in ruptured appendicitis.


Pregnancy Appendicitis Diagnosis Imaging Ultrasound MRI CT Radiation 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philippa N. Soskin
    • 1
  1. 1.MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and Washington Hospital CenterWashington, DCUSA

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