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October 1992

The Clinical Spectrum of Chronic Appendiceal Abscess in Cystic Fibrosis

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University, Columbus (Drs Allen and McCoy), and Pediatric Pulmonary Section, Department of Pediatrics, Respiratory Services Center, and the Steele Memorial Children's Research Center, Arizona Health Services Center, Tucson (Drs Pfaff and Taussig).

Am J Dis Child. 1992;146(10):1190-1193. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1992.02160220076026

• Objective.  —To describe the varied characteristics seen in patients with cystic fibrosis who develop chronic abscess formation secondary to unrecognized appendicitis.

Design.  —Patient series.

Setting.  —Cystic Fibrosis Care Centers in Columbus, Ohio, and Tucson, Ariz.

Participants.  —Five patients with cystic fibrosis who developed chronic abdominal abscesses secondary to occult appendicitis are described. Two patients developed fistula formation with purulent fluid drainage before diagnosis. One patient developed an extensive psoas abscess. Another presented with prolonged fever of unknown origin. These patients were identified by retrospective review of the past 20-year experience at two Cystic Fibrosis Care Centers.

Conclusions.  —Development of chronic abdominal abscess related to unrecognized appendicitis is a rare but important complication in patients with cystic fibrosis. Prompt diagnosis depends on physician familiarity with the varied presentations of this entity. Diagnostic abdominal computed tomography and/or ultrasonography should particularly be considered when patients with cystic fibrosis present with pain, mass, or drainage from the right flank; prolonged fever; a limp; or failure of suspected meconium ileus equivalent syndrome to respond promptly to cathartic measures.(AJDC. 1992;146:1190-1193)