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Can appendicitis be hereditary: Heredity and familial tendency of acute appendicitis

Heredity and familial tendency of acute appendicitis

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. 2007;96(4):290-2.

doi: 10.1177/145749690709600405.

E Ergul 



  • 1 Ankara Ataturk Teaching and Research Hospital, General Surgery Department, Ankara, Turkey. [email protected]
  • PMID:


  • DOI:



E Ergul.

Scand J Surg.


. 2007;96(4):290-2.

doi: 10.1177/145749690709600405.


E Ergul 


  • 1 Ankara Ataturk Teaching and Research Hospital, General Surgery Department, Ankara, Turkey. [email protected]
  • PMID:


  • DOI:




Although inflammatory disease of the vermiform appendix has been recognized as such for more than 100 years, its etiology remains a subject of controversy. The notion that appendicitis is familial, is not only important for understanding the etiology of the condition but might contribute substantially to the diagnosis and thus provide an indication for early surgical intervention.


An extensive Medline search, textbooks, scientific reports and scientific journals are the data sources.


In the light of past studies, we can suggest that almost half of the variability in risk of acute appendicitis is due to genetic factors. A positive family history increases the relative risk of being acute appendicitis nearly 3 times.

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Signs of appendicitis you shouldn’t ignore


  • Health and Wellness
  • Emergency Medicine


You seem to hear about appendicitis all the time, but only about 5% of people get it. It’s most common in children, ages 10 to 19. It’s not hereditary or preventable. But when an appendix gets infected or bursts – causing appendicitis – you’re in trouble.

It’s a life-threatening emergency that you shouldn’t ignore.

The appendix is an appendage that hangs off the beginning of the colon, or large intestine. It doesn’t have a function, and we all can live without it. If you take a balloon and poke your finger through it, that’s what the appendix looks like. It’s about the size of your little finger.

An appendix gets infected when there’s an obstruction in your large intestine. It gets blocked up, and an infection can occur. We don’t always know what causes it. In some cases, it’s due to feces getting into the appendix, which is located near where your feces transitions from a liquid to a solid, causing bacteria to multiply.

Appendicitis happens quickly – in some cases, several hours after the obstruction occurs. The earlier it’s treated, the better the outcome. If you get it treated quickly, within 12 hours, you’ll be in and out of the hospital within a day.

Because the appendix can rupture without treatment, everyone needs to recognize the warning signs of appendicitis, progressing from first to last:

  • Sudden pain around the belly button or the upper abdomen – a gnawing, aching pain unlike anything you’ve ever felt
  • Pain that intensifies over a couple of hours and migrates to the lower right abdomen (the area around right hip bone)
  • A lack energy and loss of appetite
  • The condition progressively worsens, perhaps leading to nausea
  • Constipation, inability to pass gas, or diarrhea
  • A fever of 99-102 degrees

If the pain goes away, it’s likely not appendicitis. If not, and you find yourself at or near the bottom of the list, get to the hospital.

The standard treatment, as you probably already know, is an appendectomy, surgery to remove the appendix. It’s often performed to prevent the appendix from rupturing. After administering the patient antibiotics, the surgeon removes the appendix through three half-inch incisions.

Other options include laparoscopy, a fiber-optic instrument that’s used for viewing inside the abdomen and permitting a surgical procedure. The incision is smaller that way, and the recovery is faster. Another option being tested at Ohio State is the use of antibiotics instead of surgery.

Within a day, patients can get up and move around. They can resume normal activities in a couple of weeks.

What if you wait too long to seek help?

There’s a real problem in waiting too long to treat appendicitis. You might feel really bad, but suddenly feel better. This could occur when the appendix actually ruptures. About three hours later, you’ll get really sick because infection is freely floating around the belly. This situation can lead to sepsis, a possible life-threatening condition caused by the body’s response to an infection. Care becomes much more complicated, and you might find yourself being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.

In this situation, an abscess forms where the appendix was, or the appendix freely ruptures in the abdomen. We’ll put a drain by the appendix to remove toxins. We don’t remove the appendix, because it can cause more harm. Patients might find themselves in the hospital for weeks.

We find the abscess, drain it and eventually send home patients on antibiotics. Eventually, about six months later, we’ll perform a laparoscopic appendectomy or a surgery called an interval appendectomy. Again, we administer antibiotics to fight possible peritonitis, or the infection of the abdominal cavity’s lining. General anesthesia is given, and the appendix is removed through a short incision in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen.

The bottom line is you don’t want to be in this situation. Don’t wait to get medical care if you notice potential signs of appendicitis.

David Renton specializes in minimally invasive surgery, including laparoscopic abdominal surgery, at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, where he’s also the chief of surgery at East Hospital.

Visit Ohio State Health & Discovery for more stories on health, wellness, innovation, research and science news from the experts at Ohio State.

Check out health.osu.edu

symptoms, diagnosis, treatment in Moscow

Appendicitis is a painful medical condition where the appendix becomes inflamed and filled with pus.

The appendix is ​​a small appendix located at the lower right wall of the large intestine. It is still not clear what function the appendix performs in the body, but now scientists do not call it a useless organ, as they used to think.

If an organ is missing, a person can live a full life and not notice any discomfort, but at the same time, inflammation of the appendix can lead to serious life-threatening problems. If treatment is delayed, the appendix may rupture and infection may spread to the abdominal cavity.

When people talk about appendicitis, they most often mean acute appendicitis. It is characterized by a sharp pain in the abdomen that spreads rapidly and gets worse every hour.

There is also chronic appendicitis, which causes mild, recurring pain that subsides on its own. In this case, the patient does not realize that he has appendicitis until a sharp pain appears.

Risk group

Every year, 9 out of 10,000 people suffer from acute appendicitis – this is 2 times more than twenty years ago.

Appendicitis can occur in people of any age, but children and adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19 are most at risk. Appendicitis is more common in men than in women, but the reasons for this have not yet been studied. Appendicitis more often affects people living in civilized countries, in cities; in rural areas, the incidence rate is lower. The reason may be the diet of urban dwellers, who consume less fiber and more carbohydrates. Also, appendicitis can be inherited.

Causes of appendicitis

It is not always clear what causes appendicitis. Most often it is a gastrointestinal infection that spreads to the appendix, or an intestinal obstruction that blocks the appendix.

In the second case, the causes of obstruction are different:

  • increased tissue lymph;
  • hard feces, parasites, tumors;
  • irritation or ulcer of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • abdominal trauma;
  • foreign objects (pins or bullets).

If the appendix becomes infected or adversely affected, bacteria within the appendix begin to multiply rapidly. This causes the appendix to become infected and filled with pus.

Symptoms of appendicitis

During an attack of appendicitis, the patient feels a sharp pain in the direction from the navel to the lower right side of the abdomen.

The pain spreads over several hours and may be aggravated by sudden movements, deep breaths, coughs and sneezes. Accompanying symptoms may appear:

  • dizziness,
  • nausea,
  • constipation or diarrhea,
  • inability to release gases from the intestines,
  • loss of appetite,
  • bloating,
  • fever.

Diagnosis of appendicitis

The symptoms of appendicitis overlap with other diseases (Crohn’s disease, urinary tract infection and gynecological diseases), so making the right diagnosis is not so easy.

The doctor should ask the patient about previous illnesses, examine the present symptoms and prescribe examinations to confirm the diagnosis:

  • examination of the abdominal cavity to determine the localization of pain and inflammation;
  • blood test to determine the content of leukocytes, indicating the presence of infection;
  • urinalysis to rule out urinary tract infections and kidney stones;
  • two-handed vaginal examination in women;
  • imaging tests, including CT scans, abdominal x-rays, and ultrasound, to confirm the diagnosis or identify other causes of abdominal pain.

Treatment of appendicitis

If the infection is minor, appendicitis is treated with antibiotics.

Much more often, appendicitis is considered an emergency, and the appendix is ​​removed surgically – an appendectomy is performed.

There are two ways to remove the appendix: by open surgery and by laparoscopy.

An open appendectomy requires a single incision in the appendix (in the lower right side of the abdomen).

During laparoscopic surgery, the doctor inserts surgical instruments through small incisions. It is believed that this method causes fewer complications and reduces recovery time.

If appendicitis is not treated promptly, there is a risk of the appendix rupturing and spreading the infection throughout the abdomen. This can lead to peritonitis, an inflammation of the abdominal cavity that is life-threatening. In some cases, an abscess can lead to a rupture of the appendix. In both cases, the surgeon removes pus from the abdomen, treats the infection with antibiotics, and only then cuts out the appendix.

Is appendicitis a hereditary disease? Appendicitis. no

Interested in the question: is appendicitis a hereditary disease, can it be inherited? Appendicitis is one of the most dangerous diseases due to its surprise. It can start in an unsuspecting person – and if he suddenly does not respond to it promptly, then the outcome can be anything, even fatal.

Even scientists do not yet fully understand all the subtleties of the appendicitis development mechanism, but they do everything to make its prediction and surgical treatment as effective as possible. And for this it would be good to answer a considerable number of questions. For example, can a person’s appendicitis be inherited?

Let’s try to deal with this issue a little more in detail, based on the current knowledge of modern medicine. But it’s worth going in order, having studied how this problem arises in principle.


  • 1 Causes of appendicitis
  • 2 Arguments against the fact that appendicitis is inherited
  • 3 Arguments for the fact that appendicitis is hereditary
  • 4 All the same Appendicitis hereditary disease? Conclusion

Causes of appendicitis

So, why does appendicitis occur in principle and is it a hereditary disease? While there is no 100% certainty as to why, there are a few key factors that stand out. These include the following:

  • obstruction of the lumen of the appendix;
  • bacterial-infectious factors – inflammations, infections and so on;
  • intestinal motility problems;
  • sharp vasospasm, etc.

What factors really are the objective causes of appendicitis, we have yet to find out, but these can be considered the most likely and realistic at the moment.

Previously, it was mistakenly believed that inflammation of this process occurs due to the fact that a lot of garbage gets into it, which is contained in food that is too coarse and not suitable for humans. It was also believed that the role of the appendix is ​​rather small and it is nothing more than a relic of the past, which is not needed now. But now it has become clear that this is a fairly important element of the gastrointestinal tract. Yes, but this did not have a positive effect on understanding the causes of his inflammation.

Arguments against appendicitis being inherited

It is sometimes said that people who belong to the same family had a common problem – appendicitis. Therefore, many people begin to believe that this is largely a hereditary factor, and that, for example, if your mother had it, as an example, then there is a high probability that you will also have it.

At the moment, there is no confirmation of this fact that appendicitis is hereditary. No scientific study convincingly shows that the disease in question is hereditary in nature and can be transmitted between generations. Therefore, scientists agree that the probability of this is extremely small and almost equal to zero.

Arguments are made that appendicitis is hereditary

However, there are arguments that this kind of problem can be hereditary to some extent. The point here is that the heterogeneous factors that cause this disease, whatever they are presented above, cannot be inherited, but here are various indirect factors that can increase / decrease their likelihood – completely.

For example, the physical location of the appendix can affect the risk of appendicitis – and this is already a hereditary factor. There are some of its forms and location options, in which appendicitis almost never occurs.

Also, due to values, traditions and upbringing, members of the same family may have a similar lifestyle – and after all, lifestyle has a strong influence on the likelihood of this dangerous disease. Features of the circulatory system and so on can also be transmitted. And these are also indirect factors in the development of the problem.

Is appendicitis a hereditary disease? Conclusion

Although there is no evidence of heredity of this disease, it is possible that certain factors do increase the likelihood of this problem.

But appendicitis presumably appears under the influence of very large factors that must coincide simultaneously. So the likelihood that a person whose relatives had problems with the appendix will also develop appendicitis is about the same as a person whose relatives did not have such a problem at all.

So don’t get too hung up on that.