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October 1965

Barium AppendicitisReport of a Case

Author Affiliations

From the Surgical Service, US Naval Hospital.; Dr. Vukmer is presently at the School of Aviation Medicine, Naval Aviation Medical Center, Pensacola, Fla.

Arch Surg. 1965;91(4):630-632. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1965.01320160084019

THE ABNORMALLY prolonged retention of barium within the appendix is of uncertain significance. Such retained barium may form the nidus of a concretion which subsequently may obstruct the lumen and give rise to acute appendicitis. Gubler and Kukral1 described four such examples of "barium appendicitis." Six additional cases have been reported.2-5 The following case is another instance of acute appendicitis following retention of barium within the appendix.

Report of Case  A 43-year-old man was admitted on Aug 7, 1963, with symptoms, signs, and radiographic evidence of an active duodenal ulcer. During the next three weeks he improved under appropriate therapy. Transient cramplike left lower-quadrant abdominal pain during the third hospital week led to proctosigmoidoscopy and a barium study of the colon, both of which yielded normal findings. The appendix was visualized during the latter examination, performed on Aug 30 (Fig). The patient was discharged under continuing treatment and

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