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April 1977

The Value of the Barium Enema in the Diagnosis of Acute Appendicitis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, St Francis Hospital, Evanston, Ill.

Arch Surg. 1977;112(4):531-533. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1977.01370040183029

• Contrary to popular belief, the barium enema is a safe diagnostic tool in the management of acute appendicitis. This is a survey of our experience over three years with 489 cases of suspected acute appendicitis. Two hundred eighteen barium enema examinations were done. The barium enema has a high degree of pathological correlation (97.14%). It has reduced negative surgical exploration in women between 11 and 40 years of age. This group traditionally represents the greatest diagnostic challenge in appendicitis. As a result, our negative exploration rate has been reduced to a figure below the average for this disease. We recommend its performance in all patients who pose a diagnostic dilemma.

(Arch Surg 112:531-533, 1977)