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[Series] Acute appendicitis: modern understanding of pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management

Acute appendicitis is one of the most common abdominal emergencies worldwide. The cause remains poorly understood, with few advances in the past few decades. To obtain a confident preoperative diagnosis is still a challenge, since the possibility of appendicitis must be entertained in any patient presenting with an acute abdomen. Although biomarkers and imaging are valuable adjuncts to history and examination, their limitations mean that clinical assessment is still the mainstay of diagnosis. A clinical classification is used to stratify management based on simple (non-perforated) and complex (gangrenous or perforated) inflammation, although many patients remain with an equivocal diagnosis, which is one of the most challenging dilemmas.