Appendicitis history and symptoms

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Farwa Haideri [2]


Common symptoms of appendicitis include right lower quadrant pain in iliac fossa, vomiting, fever.


Obtaining the history is an important aspect in diagnosing appendicitis. It provides insight into causes, precipitating factors, and associated conditions. Complete history will help determine the correct therapy and helps in determining the prognosis. Asking specific questions about symptoms and health history will help rule out other conditions. The onset, location, severity of pain and knowing when other symptoms appeared relative to the pain is helpful. Questions about other medical conditions, previous illnesses and surgeries, and use of medications, alcohol, or illegal drugs are also included.


Symptoms of acute appendicitis can be classified into two types, typical and atypical. With typical symptoms, diagnosis is easier to make and surgery occurs earlier. Findings are also less severe.[1][2]

Typical symptoms include:

Atypical symptoms include:

  • Constant pain in the right iliac fossa
  • Prolonged diarrhea
  • There is a possibility of micturition if an inflamed appendix lies in contact with the bladder.
  • Tenesmus (the feeling that a bowel movement will relieve discomfort) can be experienced.


  1. Stringer MD (2017). "Acute appendicitis". J Paediatr Child Health. 53 (11): 1071–1076. doi:10.1111/jpc.13737. PMID 29044790.
  2. Cameron DB, Williams R, Geng Y, Gosain A, Arnold MA, Guner YS, Blakely ML, Downard CD, Goldin AB, Grabowski J, Lal DR, Dasgupta R, Baird R, Gates RL, Shelton J, Jancelewicz T, Rangel SJ, Austin MT (2017). "Time to appendectomy for acute appendicitis: A systematic review". J. Pediatr. Surg. doi:10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2017.11.042. PMID 29241958.

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