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Sonography of the Normal Appendix: Its Varied Appearance and Techniques to Improve its Visualization

Ung, Cindy BA*; Chang, Stephanie T. MD; Jeffrey, R. Brooke MD; Patel, Bhavik N. MD; Olcott, Eric W. MD†‡

Ultrasound Quarterly:
doi: 10.1097/RUQ.0b013e3182a2aa8e
Review Article

Abstract: The sonographic identification of the normal appendix is crucial to the success of ultrasound as an effective screening method for diagnosing acute appendicitis. The normal appendix can be challenging to identify on sonography, however, because it is a narrow tubular structure and has variable sonographic appearances. Moreover, the tip of the appendix can be quite variable in location. In this article, we review the various sonographic appearances of the normal appendix and highlight strategies to improve its visualization.

Author Information

From the *Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, †Department of Radiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, and ‡Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA.

Received for publication April 29, 2013; accepted June 22, 2013.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Eric W. Olcott, MD, Department of Radiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, 300 Pasteur Dr, H1307, Stanford, CA 94305-5105 (e-mail:

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins