What are the signs and symptoms of appendicitis?

Updated: Jul 23, 2018
  • Author: Sandy Craig, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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The clinical presentation of appendicitis is notoriously inconsistent. The classic history of anorexia and periumbilical pain followed by nausea, right lower quadrant (RLQ) pain, and vomiting occurs in only 50% of cases. Features include the following:

  • Abdominal pain: Most common symptom

  • Nausea: 61-92% of patients

  • Anorexia: 74-78% of patients

  • Vomiting: Nearly always follows the onset of pain; vomiting that precedes pain suggests intestinal obstruction

  • Diarrhea or constipation: As many as 18% of patients

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