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Dis Colon Rectum. 1986 Oct;29(10):668-70.

Perforated appendicitis and obstructing colonic carcinoma in the elderly.


Two patients admitted with perforated appendicitis and obstructing colonic cancers are presented. The first patient, a 75-year-old man, developed a persistent fecal fistula following appendectomy. Barium enema demonstrated an obstructing hepatic flexure carcinoma. The second patient, a 62-year-old man, recovered uneventfully following appendectomy. Persistent occult blood was found in his stools during follow-up examinations. Three months after surgery, diagnostic colonoscopy revealed a nearly obstructing sigmoid carcinoma. Obstruction of the appendiceal lumen by such lesions as fecaliths, carcinoid tumors, lymphoid hyperplasia, or cecal carcinoma accounts for appendicitis in the majority of patients. These two patients illustrate a less common cause. As many as 3 percent of patients over 40 years of age presenting with appendicitis also have obstructing colonic carcinomas. Elderly patients with appendicitis should be evaluated for colonic neoplasms at a clinically suitable time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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