Ultrasound in Emergency MedicinePoint-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) for Isolated Pediatric Dysuria: An Unusual Presentation of Acute Appendicitis



      Isolated complaint of dysuria in an adolescent is a rare presentation for acute perforated appendicitis. Acute appendicitis typically involves vague periumbical pain that migrates to the right lower quadrant, associated with pain, nausea, and loss of appetite. There have been case reports of associated pyuria and dysuria in addition to classical symptoms, but to our knowledge, this is the first case with isolated dysuria presenting to an emergency department (ED).

      Case Report

      A 14-year-old boy presented to the ED with 3 days of dysuria and subsequent sensation of urinary retention. Urine dip showed occult blood without white cells or nitrites. A bedside renal/bladder point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) did not show evidence of obstruction. However, it did reveal a retrovesicular fluid collection with an echogenic foci inside suspicious for abscess, likely secondary to ruptured appendicitis. This diagnosis was confirmed with a dedicated right lower quadrant ultrasound, with resultant treatment with i.v. antibiotics and eventual surgical resection of the appendix.

      Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This?

      Pediatric and adolescent patients may present with extremely atypical symptoms of a common disease process. In this case, early use of POCUS in the ED helped to quickly identify an acute surgical process and focus diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.


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