What Is Epiploic Appendagitis?


Quick Answer

Epiploic appendagitis occurs when small protrusions swell on the outside of the large intestine, according to iTriage. These appendages start small, but then they grow larger and become painful when they twist or lose their blood supply. Epiploic appendagitis may be mistaken for appendicitis or diverticulitis.

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Full Answer

Epiploic appendagitis reveals itself to patients as sharp pain in the lower abdomen, notes iTriage. Pain more often occurs on the left side rather than the right. No treatment is needed since the disorder goes away on its own, but patients may be told to take pain medication to alleviate any discomfort. Blood tests, CT scans and MRIs help doctors ascertain the problem.

Epiploic appendagitis accounts for as many as 7 percent of diverticulitis cases, says Radiopaedia.org. When the pain is felt on the right side, symptoms may seem similar to acute appendicitis. This uncommon disorder usually affects people from age 20 to age 50. These rounded masses on the outer part of the colon generally grow to between 2 to 4 centimeters.

Localized, sharp abdominal pain absent of other symptoms such as fever, nausea and diarrhea may lead to a diagnosis of epiploic appendagitis, according to BMC Surgery. Two doctors examined cases at an urban emergency room between January 2004 and December 2006 and found 10 cases of this disorder out of approximately 16,000 emergency room visits. Of those 10 patients, seven were male and three were female. Eight patients felt pain on the left, while two felt pain on the right.

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