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Schistosomiasis: A Rare Cause of Acute Appendicitis in the African American Population in the United States

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Schistosomal appendicitis is rarely reported in developed countries. In this article we report a case series of schistosomal appendicitis at our community teaching hospital. In this retrospective study, we conducted a thorough database search for schistosomiasis in patients who had undergone appendectomy for acute appendicitis from 1995 to 2005. Of 1690 total appendectomies performed during this period, three cases of schistosomal appendicitis were identified. Data obtained included patient demographics, laboratory investigations, and pathological specimen. All patients belong to the African American race, are between the ages of 20 and 40 (mean 29.3 ± 9.5) years, and had onset of symptoms <24 hours in duration. Sudden onset of right lower abdominal pain with leucocytosis (14.1 ± 1.4 × 103) is a common feature. All patients underwent appendectomy and each was found to have an enlarged and inflamed appendix intraoperatively. Histopathology revealed transmural inflammation predominantly with neutrophils and scanty eosinophils. Schistosomal granulations are present in all layers of appendix including serosa. All patients had an uneventful postoperative recovery. Schistosomal appendicitis is an uncommon condition especially in developed countries like the United States. However, with recent changes in global migration, schistosomiasis should be considered as one of the causes for appendicitis, especially in the African American population.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: From the Departments ofSurgery and, Department of Surgery, St. John's Queens Hospital, Queens, New York 2: From the Departments ofSurgery and 3: Pathology, Bronx Lebanon Hospital, Albert Einstein School of Medicine, Bronx, New York and the

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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