Differences in the clinical course of acute appendicitis in the elderly in comparison to younger populati
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Acute appendicitis (AA) still remains the most common acute surgical abdominal emergency. Although 90% of cases occur in children and young adults, the incidence in the elderly amounts up to 10% and is constantly rising. The aim of the study was to assess the differences between clinical presentation in the elderly patients with AA compared to the younger patients. Additional aim was to assess the correlation between in-hospital time delays and patients’ outcomes. Material and methods. We conducted a retrospective analysis of medical data of 274 patients admitted to 3rd Department of General Surgery in Cracow between January 2011 and December 2013 due to AA. The elderly group comprised 23 patients aged 65 and above and the non-elderly group consisted of 251 patients. Results. The groups did not differ in symptoms and their duration, type of surgery and its duration. However, time from admission to ED to the beginning of the procedure was significantly lower in the elderly group (575.56 vs 858.9 min; p=0.03). The elderly had longer hospital stay (6.08 vs 4.69 days; p=0.004). In the elderly group the perforation rate was close to reaching statistical significance (26.1% vs 12.4%; p=0.06). No mortality was noted in both groups and morbidity was slightly higher in elderly group (17.4% vs 10%; p=0.26). Conclusions. There was no difference in the clinical presentation between elderly and non-elderly patients group. However, elderly patients presented with a more progressed inflammation of the appendix. The hospital stay was longer in the elderly group, without any mortality and with higher rate of morbidity in this group. The length of the preoperative phase was significantly shorter, confirming the awareness of importance of time in the elderly patients with acute abdomen.
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