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Subhepatic appendicitis: a diagnostic dilemma
  1. William Robert Ball,
  2. Antonio Privitera
  1. Department of Surgery, University Hospital North Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, UK
  1. Correspondence to William Robert Ball, ballwilliam{at}


A middle-aged woman was admitted with recurrent episodes of ill-defined right-sided abdominal pain, more prominent in the right upper quadrant. Surgical history revealed a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, 1 month prior, for gallstones that were thought to be the cause of her symptoms. However, she continued to experience similar pain with exacerbation leading to readmission. Blood tests revealed increased inflammatory markers and an ultrasound scan showed a tubular hypoechoic structure between her right kidney and liver corresponding to the area of maximal tenderness. A diagnostic laparoscopy was performed and a subhepatic inflammatory mass of appendicular origin was found. This required mobilisation of the right colon and appendicectomy. The patient made an uneventful recovery after being readmitted for an ileus treated conservatively. Histology revealed acute appendicitis with mucosal ulceration.

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