Perforated appendicitis masquerading as acute pancreatitis in a morbidly obese patient

Forster, Michael J.; Akoh, Jacob A.; Matarese, Laura E.
March 2008
World Journal of Gastroenterology;3/21/2008, Vol. 14 Issue 11, p1795
Academic Journal
Case Study
Diagnosis and treatment of common conditions in morbidly obese patients still pose a challenge to physicians and surgeons. Sometimes too much reliance is put on investigations that can lead to a misdiagnosis. This case demonstrates an obese woman admitted under the medical team with a presumed diagnosis of pneumonia, who was later found to have an acute abdomen and raised amylase, which led to an assumed diagnosis of pancreatitis. She died within 24 h of admission and post mortem confirmed the cause of death as systemic sepsis due to perforated appendicitis, with no evidence of pancreatitis. Significantly elevated serum amylase level may occur in non-pancreatitic acute abdomen.


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