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Clinical characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine-related acute appendicitis.

BACKGROUND: In a large nationwide mass vaccination setting, the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine was recently linked to myocarditis, lymphadenopathy, herpes zoster infection and appendicitis. We aimed to examine the characteristics and management of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine-related acute appendicitis.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective cohort study in a large tertiary medical centre in Israel. All patients presenting with acute appendicitis within 21 days of receiving their SARS-CoV-2 vaccination (PCVAA group) were compared with patients who presented with acute appendicitis not related to the vaccination (N-PCVAA group).

RESULTS: We reviewed the records of 421 patients with acute appendicitis from December 2020 to September 2021; 38 (9%) patients presented with acute appendicitis within 21 days of receiving their SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. Patients in the PCVAA group were older than those in the N-PCVAA group (mean 41 ± 19 yr v. 33 ± 15 yr, respectively, p = 0.008), with male predominance. More patients were managed nonsurgically during the pandemic than before the pandemic (24% v. 18%, p = 0.03).

CONCLUSION: With the exception of older age, the clinical characteristics of patients presenting with acute appendicitis within 21 days of receiving the SARS-CoV-2 vaccination did not differ from those of patients who presented with acute appendicitis not related to the vaccination. This finding suggests that vaccine-related acute appendicitis is similar to "classic" acute appendicitis.

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