The Utility of the Alvarado Score in the Diagnosis of Acute Appendicitis in the Elderly.
Clinical scores determining the likelihood of acute appendicitis (AA), including the Alvarado score, were devised using a younger population, and their efficacy in predicting AA in elderly patients is not well documented. This study's purpose is to evaluate the utility of Alvarado scores in this population. A retrospective chart review of patients >65 years old presenting with pathologically diagnosed AA from 2000 to 2010 was performed. Ninety-six patients met inclusion criteria. The average age was 73.7 ± 1.5 years and our cohort was 41.7 per cent male. The average Alvarado score was 6.9 ± 0.33. The distribution of scores was 1 to 4 in 3.7 per cent, 5 to 6 in 37.8 per cent, and 7 to 10 in 58.5 per cent of cases. There was a statistically significant increase in patients scoring 5 or 6 in our cohort versus the original Alvarado cohort (P < 0.01). Right lower quadrant tenderness (97.6%), left shift of neutrophils (91.5%), and leukocytosis (84.1%) were the most common symptoms on presentation. In conclusion, our data suggest that altering our interpretation of the Alvarado score to classify elderly patients presenting with a score of ≥5 as high risk may lead to earlier diagnosis of AA. Physicians should have a higher clinical suspicion of AA in elderly patients presenting with right lower quadrant tenderness, left shift, or leukocytosis.
Shchatsko, A; Brown, R; Reid, T; Adams, S; Alger, A; Charles, A
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