INTRODUCTION: Complicated appendicitis is a severe condition, requiring early diagnosis and intervention to prevent complications. We aimed to investigate how resident surgeons distinguish and manage complicated appendicitis and their perspectives on preoperative diagnostic markers.

METHODS: The electronic survey was face validated. It contained questions about demographics, resident surgeons' considerations on the preoperative diagnosis of complicated appendicitis, and views on the need for and relevance of preoperative diagnostic markers. It was sent to all resident surgeons in the Eastern part of Denmark.

RESULTS: Seven hospitals and their 92 resident surgeons received the survey, and 90% responded. Most resident surgeons used symptoms and signs of pain to diagnose suspected complicated appendicitis. Half of the surgeons used computed tomographies, and 95% used routine blood tests. Most surgeons (83%) would change the management of patients with preoperatively diagnosed complicated appendicitis in comparison to uncomplicated appendicitis. However, only 17% felt the need for a preoperative diagnostic marker.

CONCLUSIONS: Resident surgeons in Eastern Denmark use non-specific diagnostic techniques to distinguish complicated from uncomplicated appendicitis and would change treatment if appendicitis was diagnosed preoperatively. However, despite limited interest, our results suggest a need for new diagnostic markers to differentiate between the severity of appendicitis, thus enhancing education and training in managing such cases.



Original languageEnglish
Article numberA05230214
JournalDanish Medical Journal
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2023


  • Humans
  • Appendicitis/diagnostic imaging
  • Appendectomy/methods
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Acute Disease


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