Primary Epiploic Appendagitis: A Case Report

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Primary epiploic appendagitis (PEA) is a rather uncommon and self-limiting cause of acute abdomen managed conservatively. Overlapping clinical features with other common causes of acute abdomen usually requiring surgical intervention, and rare occurrences have led to misdiagnosis of the condition and unnecessary surgical intervention. However, with identification of definite characteristic features on imaging (computed tomography [CT] scan) has led to easier diagnosis and avoidance of exploratory laparotomy. Here we present a case of PEA in a 34-year-old otherwise healthy Caucasian male with a chief complaint of acute left-sided abdominal, flank and inguinal pain with diarrhea. Laboratory investigation reports were more or less within normal limits; CT scan confirmed the diagnosis of PEA. The patient was managed successfully with an oral antibiotic and a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. CT scan should be done in cases of acute abdomen (if not absolutely contraindicated) for confirmation of diagnosis, as in our case CT scan helped in confirmation of diagnosis of PEA and thus avoided unnecessary surgical intervention. However, with the current advances in radiological tools, correct diagnosis of acute abdomen has become a lot easier, leading to timely surgical intervention and also at the same time avoidance of unnecessary exploratory laparotomy. Again, with documentation of specific characteristic radiological features of PEA, diagnosis of PEA has become much easier. After careful correlation among clinical, radiological, and laboratory findings, diagnosis of PEA was confirmed. The patient was managed conservatively at home with the advice of plenty of fluid intake and bed rest. Furthermore, he was prescribed an oral antibiotic (ciprofloxacin) and a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (ibuprofen) empirically for seven days to prevent further complications like adhesions, bowel obstruction, intussusception, peritonitis, and local abscess formation. The patient recovered completely (the symptoms and signs resolved clinically) after one week. To conclude, it can be said, although rare in occurrence and lacking in specific presenting features, diagnosis of PEA has become easier with imaging techniques like CT scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); thus, with prior awareness regarding this disease among physicians, unnecessary surgical interventions can be avoided.


Anahtar Kelimeler

Acute, Abdomencomputed t, Tomographyexploratory, Laparotomyprimary, Epiploic appendagitis (pea)


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Mert A, Mırcık E (March 23, 2021) Primary Epiploic Appendagitis: A Case Report. Cureus 13(3): e14060.