Correctly diagnosing appendicitis can be difficult, since symptoms may mimic many other more common conditions, such as gastrointestinal infections. Even the most experienced physicians and surgeons are not able to diagnose appendicitis 100 percent of the time. Children between ages five and nine with appendicitis are often misdiagnosed with either gastroenteritis or a respiratory infection, which are much more common illnesses in this age group.

A diagnosis of appendicitis is made based on a physical examination, together with tests of blood and urine. To help support or eliminate the diagnosis, a doctor may also order X rays of the abdomen and chest. No laboratory test is specifically designed to identify appendicitis. instead, surgeons are beginning to rely on CT scans of the appendix to confirm appendicitis when the diagnosis is not clear. ultrasound tests are even more accurate in correctly diagnosing appendicitis.

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