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Clinicopathological differences in attached versus loose infarcted epiploic appendages: an analysis of 52 cases


Background Epiploic appendages are fatty peritoneal structures on the external surface of the colon that can infarct and become necrotic in situ or autoamputate.

Aims To describe clinicopathological features of infarcted epiploic appendages (IEAs).

Methods We reviewed 52 IEAs from 49 patients, recording numerous clinical and pathological characteristics, which were compared across attached and loose IEAs.

Results Twenty-seven IEAs were attached, and 23 were loose; location was unclear in 2. Most were incidental; 3 attached cases caused ‘appendagitis’. Most (31, 60%) had a classic ‘egg-like’ appearance. Common findings included fat necrosis (84%), calcification (67%) and fibrosis (58%). Attached cases had a larger mean size (1.8 cm vs 1.3 cm, p=0.030) and were more often haemorrhagic (37% vs 4%, p=0.0064) and inflamed (67% vs 13%, p=0.0002). Loose cases were more often necrotic (100% vs 74%, p=0.011).

Conclusions IEAs have different morphology whether they remain attached to peritoneum or become necrotic and detached. Attached cases may cause symptoms.

  • gastrointestinal diseases
  • pathology
  • surgical
  • colon

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