Chronology of Appendicitis Imaging: More than 30 Years of Progress

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Lacey Fischer
Brandon Hirsch


The prevalence of acute appendicitis is quite high, with about a 7% lifetime prevalence and incidence of about 1.1/1000 people each year.1 The goal of this review was to explore the evolution and chronology for imaging the appendix.  While appendicitis is routinely clinically diagnosed, imaging plays an important role in an accurate preoperative diagnosis. This review included articles published over more than 30 years and analyzed the evolution of technology in attempt to better diagnose acute appendicitis.  In 1986, ultrasound was introduced as a contender in the diagnosis of appendicitis.  Imaging progressed with new technologies in ultrasound, potential identification of inflammations with nuclear medicine, a low dose CT examination, and multiple approaches to a rapid MRI examination. These new techniques play a role in the daily decisions of physicians when deciding what modality is best for their specific patient.  The best means of predicting what the future may hold, is by what has been created in the past.

Article Details

Author Biography

Brandon Hirsch, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Assistant Professor


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