Pathology of the Gastrointestinal Tract

2017 Edition
| Editors: Fátima Carneiro, Paula Chaves, Arzu Ensari

Normal Appendix and Tumoral Appendix

  • Magali SvrcekEmail author
Reference work entry


Vermiform appendix


The appendix is a derivative of the cecum and matures in the second trimester of the embryonic life. As the appendix lengthens, the junction between the appendix and the cecum becomes increasingly more distinct. The appendix usually arises from the posteromedial cecal wall, at a point about 2.5–3 cm below the ileocecal valve, with its orifice opening into the cecum. However, four types of ceco-appendiceal junction are possible. The appendix arises at the junction of three of the taenia coli present at the surface of the cecum. The appendix is suspended from the mesoappendix, which is a mesenteric extension from the ileum; the base of the appendix is attached to the posterior abdominal wall and its tip is free. The position of the appendix varies considerably; most commonly, the appendix lies behind the cecum and ascending colon. It may also lie beside the ascending colon, in front of or behind the terminal ileum, lying on the psoas muscle, or in the...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Gramlich, T. L., & Petras, R. E. (2007). Vermiform appendix. In S. E. Mills (Ed.), Histology for pathologists (3rd ed., pp. 649–662). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.Google Scholar
  2. Guidry, S. P., & Poole, G. V. (1994). The anatomy of appendicitis. American Surgeon, 60, 68–71.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Randal Bollinger, R., Barbas, A. S., Bush, E. L., Lin, S. S., & Parker, W. (2007). Biofilms in the large bowel suggest an apparent function of the human vermiform appendix. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 249, 826–831.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Wakeley, C. P. G., & Gladstone, R. F. (1928). The relative frequency of the various positions of the vermiform appendix as ascertained by an analysis of 5000 cases. Lancet, 1, 178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hôpital Saint-Antoine, Service d’Anatomie Pathologique, AP-HP, Hôpitaux Universitaires de l’Est ParisienParisFrance