Keywords: POCUS, Appendicitis, Pregnancy (PubMed Search)
POCUS can be used to screen for appendicitis.
A recent study showed a sensitivity of 66.7% (CI 95% 47.1–82.7), and a specificity of 96.8% (CI 95% 83.3–99.9) during pregnancy, with the highest sensitivity in the first trimester.
2 methods to locate the appendix are:
1) have your patient point to the area where it hurts the most
2) perform a lawnmower technique over the right lower quadrant looking for the right psoas mucle and the iliac vessels. The appendix will usually be near these structures.
Sometimes it is easiest to use your curvilinear probe to identify an area of inflammation and then change to the linear probe for better visualization.
On ultrasound, appendicitis is defined as a non-compressible blind pouch with an outer diameter greater than 6 mm. On short axis the inflammed appendix will look like a target sign:
Abgottspon D, Putora K, Kinkel J, Süveg K, Widmann B, Hornung R, Minotti B. Accuracy of Point-of-care Ultrasound in Diagnosing Acute Appendicitis During Pregnancy. West J Emerg Med. 2022 Oct 23;23(6):913-918. doi: 10.5811/westjem.2022.8.56638