How often is appendicitis misdiagnosed in women and what are the most common misdiagnoses?

Updated: Jul 23, 2018
  • Author: Sandy Craig, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

Appendicitis is misdiagnosed in 33% of nonpregnant women of childbearing age. The most frequent misdiagnoses are PID, followed by gastroenteritis and urinary tract infection. In distinguishing appendiceal pain from that of PID, anorexia and onset of pain more than 14 days after menses suggests appendicitis. Previous PID, vaginal discharge, or urinary symptoms indicates PID. On physical examination, tenderness outside the RLQ, cervical motion tenderness, vaginal discharge, and positive urinalysis support the diagnosis of PID.


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