Use of clinical and paraclinical data to diagnose appendicitis in a patient with abdominal epilepsy.
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We report a case of acute appendicitis in a 36-year-old patient with recurrent abdominal pain diagnosed seven years previously as abdominal epilepsy. Prior to his reported presentation, he successfully managed his pain at home by self-administration of phenobarbital, but on three previous occasions the patient required emergency-department treatment for severe pain. Our patient had been symptom free for several months prior to this presentation. This case raises several important questions regarding the approach to the diagnosis of acute appendicitis in the emergency department. The case illustrates the relative value of clinical and paraclinical data in establishing the diagnosis. We evaluate accepted clinical and paraclinical data used to diagnose acute appendicitis and advocate using likelihood ratios to increase diagnostic accuracy.
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