Appendectomy is the most commonly performed surgical procedure, affecting 1%–8% of the paediatric population, with a total 7% lifetime risk, most likely in adolescents and young adults.
A case of familial aggregation was reported in our hospital in a family composed of nine siblings from which six of them (66.6%) had been treated of acute appendicitis, five of them in our centre.
Many factors have been described as predisposing to appendicitis. Several studies have highlighted the influence of genes in the evolution of this disease and its severity, demonstrating a relative risk increase by three when family history is present.
Family history of acute appendicitis is an important factor to be taken into consideration during the medical interview. Clinicians attempting to fine-tune their diagnostic accuracy when patients present with acute abdominal pain should inquire about family history of appendicitis.
- general practice / family medicine
- gastrointestinal surgery
- general surgery
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Contributors FSA: dealt directly with case, writing the report, design and data collection. IG and JGP: dealt directly with case.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Parental/guardian consent obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.