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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Answer

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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