Epiploic appendicitis

Abdomen | - Others | Epiploic appendicitis (Disease)


Epiploic appendagitis is a rare, benign, self-limiting inflammation of the epiploic appendices. Self-limiting means that the condition has a limit on how bad it can get. Like a spring, the more you press it, the more it wants to return back. Other, older terms for the process include appendicitis epiploica and appendagitis, but these terms are used less now in order to avoid confusion with acute appendicitis. Epiploic appendices are small, fat-filled sacs or finger-like projections along the surface of the lower colon and rectum.

Symptoms of epiploic appendagitis are mild to severe lower abdominal pain. The pain can be in the lower, middle, or right abdominal area. This pain is sometimes described as sharp or stabbing. There is sometimes nausea and vomiting. Because epiploic appendagitis is external to the colon, the pain may be very limited and isolated form bowel movement or passing gas. Some people reported feeling bloated.

The symptoms may mimic those of acute appendicitis, diverticulitis, or cholecystitis. Initial lab studies are usually normal. EA is usually diagnosed incidentally on CT scan which is performed to exclude more serious conditions.

Causes and Risk factors

Epiploic appendagitis appears to be solely caused by physical interference with epiploic appendages. This interference is in the form of torsion or tension. While the cause of this tension / torsion is unknown, the condition is self-limiting and thus not dangerous. It appears that the torsion is more likely with appendages that are abnormally longer or larger.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Epiploic appendagitis does not require any medical intervention such as antibiotic treatment or surgery. The pain however can be quite severe and be treated with anesthetics (pain killers). The condition should improve between 4 to 14 days, but many patients saw significant improvement within 7 days. ...

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