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May 1966

Appendicitis in the Newborn

Author Affiliations

From the departments of radiology (Dr. Tabrisky) and pediatrics (Dr. Cavanaugh), St. Elizabeth's Hospital; Tufts University School of Medicine (Drs. Tabrisky and Cavanaugh); and Harvard University School of Medicine (Dr. Cavanaugh). Dr. Westerfeld is with the Boonslick Medical Group, St. Charles, Mo.

Am J Dis Child. 1966;111(5):557-558. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1966.02090080135016

APPENDICITIS is rare in the first few months of life. Fields et al1 collected 7,170 cases in children less than 12 years of age from the literature, and there were none less than 1 month old.

Acute appendicitis in the infant is decidedly uncommon and it is most lethal. One collection of 17 cases in the neonate revealed 15 deaths.2 Perforation and diffuse peritonitis is the rule rather than the exception. Despite the fact that the overall mortality in appendicitis has decreased to a low level, a high percentage of deaths still occurs in the very young.2

The authors report a case of neonatal appendicitis in a premature infant which accompanied an episode of gastroenteritis.

Report of a Case  A male premature infant weighed 4 lb 7 oz (2,000 gm) at birth. The delivery was uneventful. The newborn did well until the 24th day of life when

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