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Epiploic Appendagitis: Systematic Review of a Distinctive Pathology.

American Surgeon 2024 May 18
Introduction: Epiploic appendagitis (EA) is an essential cause of abdominal pain that can be confused with more typical causes such as acute diverticulitis and appendicitis. Epiploic appendagitis accounts for 1% of all cases of abdominal pain in adults. The scarcity of information has limited its recognition as an essential nonsurgical cause of acute abdominal pain. Methods: We performed a systematic review of all EA cases published. We searched Scopus, Medline, Web of Science, and Google Scholar to retrieve all available studies from January 2000 to November 2023. Results: 196 case reports and case series were analyzed, with 371 patients with EA included. The mean age at the time of diagnosis was 39 years. Most patients were male (59%). The primary presenting symptoms were pain (100%), tenderness (59.5%), and rebound tenderness (27.4%). The left abdomen was the most common localization of pain (53%). The most frequently identified differential diagnoses were acute appendicitis (26.4%) and acute diverticulitis (16.1%). Most patients (53%) were treated conservatively, and 98 (26.4%) underwent surgical treatment. A significant difference in the choice of treatment was found for signs and symptoms such as rebound tenderness, nausea, anorexia, and diarrhea. Conclusions: Acute EA is an essential clinical condition of rare occurrence that might present a diagnostic challenge, as it can masquerade as another acute abdominal pain etiology. The optimal management of EA is conservative, so a higher recognition by surgeons and emergency physicians is essential to avoid unnecessary surgical interventions and their associated consequences.

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