A 2-year-old with a hepatic abscess secondary to an ascending retrocecal appendicitis: case report and review of the literature.
International Journal of Emergency Medicine
BACKGROUND: Diagnosing appendicitis within the pediatric population can be challenging, whether it be a neonate with irritability or a toddler with flank pain. Symptoms may mimic a viral illness, constipation, urinary tract infection, or intussusception, all of which are more common in this age group when compared with appendicitis. While a ruptured appendicitis can result in an intra-abdominal abscess, peritonitis, and/or shock, the development of a pyogenic hepatic abscess is extremely rare.
CASE PRESENTATION: We present the case of a 2-year-old male who initially presented to the emergency department (ED) with fever and non-specific abdominal pain and was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection (UTI). He returned to the ED days later with rigors, worsening abdominal pain, and was diagnosed with a pyogenic hepatic abscess secondary to an ascending retrocecal appendicitis. In our patient, he did not just have a UTI with cultures growing Escherichia coli, but a hepatic abscess that was polymicrobial. He was started on broad-spectrum antibiotics and a 10 French pigtail catheter was placed. The patient was ultimately discharged on day 8 with continued antibiotics. After his antibiotic course, he underwent an elective laparoscopy appendectomy and is currently doing well post-operatively.
CONCLUSION: Our case report illustrates the significance in identifying atypical features of appendicitis, broadening the differential of non-specific abdominal pain in pediatric patients, and depending on the clinical situation, ruling out other potential intra-abdominal infections even in the presence of a true urinary tract infection.
Taylor GM, Saffer ER, McDowell EL, Warpinski MA. A 2-year-old with a hepatic abscess secondary to an ascending retrocecal appendicitis: case report and review of the literature. Int J Emerg Med. 2019 Dec 19;12(1):41. doi: 10.1186/s12245-019-0260-9. PMID: 31856705; PMCID: PMC6923966.