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January 1941


Author Affiliations


Arch Surg. 1941;42(1):156-171. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1941.01210070159008

Acute appendicitis is a tantalizing disease, for it unremittingly exacts an exorbitant toll of human lives. The challenges presented by that unpredictable organ, the appendix, are legion; hence this discussion will be confined to acute appendicitis complicated by primary abscess formation. Bower,1 in his commendable study, found that 15 per cent to 20 per cent of all patients admitted to the Philadelphia Hospitals for acute appendicitis had localized abscesses when first seen. Arnheim and Neuhof2 reported an incidence of 18.8 per cent, and Guerry3 encountered this complication in 18 per cent of his 3,339 cases of "acute suppurative appendicitis." If the appendicitis, however, occurred in patients beyond 59 years of age, Wood4 found that 56 per cent of them had regional abscesses. In our series of 528 cases of acute suppurative appendicitis there were 53 primary abscesses, a ratio of 10 per cent. This low incidence