How is appendicitis diagnosed?
In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for appendicitis may include:
- Abdominal ultrasound - a diagnostic imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves and a computer to create images of blood vessels, tissues, and organs. Ultrasounds are used to view internal organs as they function, and to assess blood flow through various vessels.
- Computerized tomography scan of the abdomen (also called a CT or CAT scan) - a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically, of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. (CT scans are more detailed than general x-rays.)
- Blood tests- to evaluate the infection, or to determine if there are any problems with other abdominal organs, such as the liver or pancreas.
- Urinalysis- to detect a bladder or kidney infection, which may have some of the same symptoms as appendicitis. A protein detectable in urine might serve as a "biomarker" for appendicitis.
?If this protein is present in urine, then there is a very high chance that this child has appendicitis.? ?In a couple of years, we would like to have a dipstick test which allows us to do this kind of urine analysis in the ER within minutes.?
Hanno Steen, PhD, director of Children?s Proteomics Center