Ascending retrocecal appendicitis: Clinical and computed tomographic findings

Sooah Kim, Hyo K. Lim, Ji Yeon Lee, Jongmee Lee, Min Ju Kim, Soon Jin Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To describe the clinical presentation and computed tomographic (CT) features of ascending retrocecal appendicitis. METHODS: During the past 8 years, 1670 patients with surgically proven appendicitis were identified by a retrospective investigation. Thirty-three patients who underwent contrast-enhanced abdominal CT before surgery and had ascending retrocecal appendicitis at surgery were included in the patient cohort. The clinical and CT findings of these 33 patients were analyzed. RESULTS: Patients presented with right lower abdominal pain (49%, 16/33), right flank pain (24%, 8/33), right upper abdominal pain (18%, 6/33), and periumbilical pain (15%, 5/33). Inflamed ascending retrocecal appendices were visualized completely in 70% (23/33), partially in 21% (7 of 33), and not detected in the remaining 9% (3/33). Periappendiceal inflammatory changes were most commonly observed in the retrocolic space in 88% (29/33), followed by paracolic gutter (30%, 10/33), pararenal space (27%, 9/33), mesentery (24%, 8/33), perirenal space (18%, 6/33), and subhepatic space (3%, 1/33). Inflammatory thickening of Gerota fascia (70%, 23/33) and the lateroconal fascia (64%, 21/33) was observed as well. Perforation of the appendix with the formation of an abscess was present in 49% (16/33). The abscesses were most commonly located in the retrocolic space (88%, 14/16). Diffuse wall thickenings of the cecum (67%, 22/33) and the ascending colon (64%, 21/33) were often observed also. Appendicoliths were found in 33% (11/33). CONCLUSIONS: More than half of patients with ascending retrocecal appendicitis presented with atypical clinical presentation. At CT, ascending retrocecal appendicitis was associated with a high incidence of retroperitoneal inflammatory changes and appendiceal perforation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)772-776
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Tomography
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Appendicitis
  • Appendix
  • Computed tomography
  • Diagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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