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Pediatr Surg Int. 2008 Apr;24(4):439-41. Epub 2007 Apr 5.

Acute appendicitis in a patient with hemolytic uremic syndrome: an unusual clinical scenario.

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Department of Surgery, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA.


Gastroenteritis due to Escherichia coli O157:H7 occurs in young children and is associated with consumption of under cooked beef. Approximately 5-10% of patients will develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS): renal failure, microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, and thrombocytopenia. A 6-year-old boy was admitted with abdominal pain, guaiac positive stool, decreased urine output and elevated creatinine levels. Hemodialysis was initiated upon rapid progression to anuria. On hospital day # 5 he developed acute abdominal pain, which was different from his initial assessment. Exam revealed focal tenderness in the right lower quadrant with localized guarding and rebound. Ultrasound demonstrated a dilated, fluid filled tubular structure in the RLQ concerning for appendicitis. Based on these findings the patient was taken to the operating room for a laparoscopic appendectomy. The patient had undergone dialysis the previous day and was preoperatively treated with DDAVP to minimize the risk of bleeding. The procedure occurred without complication and final pathology confirmed acute appendicitis. This case highlights the unique clinical scenario in which patients with HUS require operative intervention. Surgical procedures can be performed on these patients, however, all precautions should be taken to minimize the risk of bleeding, including the use of preoperative DDAVP.

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