Epiploic Appendagitis

Epiploic Appendagitis (EPA) is a common condition affecting approximately 1% of all children between the ages of one year and five years. EPI stands for Epiphysio-Interstitial Pulmonary Disease, which is a type of lung disease caused by scar tissue buildup inside your lungs. The scarring may cause shortness of breath or even chest pain when exercising. EPA is usually found in children with asthma, but it can occur in anyone.

Symptoms of EPA include: Shortness of Breath (especially during exercise), Chest Pain, and Difficulty Breathing. These symptoms may last from a few days to several months. There are no known cures for EPA; however, there are medications that help treat some of the symptoms such as reducing inflammation and improving breathing capacity.

What Causes Epiploic Appendagitis?

The exact cause of EPA is not yet fully understood. However, many believe that the build up of scar tissue inside your lungs may contribute to the problem. Scientists have been studying this condition since the 1970s, but they still don’t know exactly what causes it. They do know that EPA occurs most often in children with asthma, although it can affect adults as well. Most cases are found in boys under age ten years old and girls under age fifteen years old.

Who Gets Epiploic Appendagitis?

While the exact cause of Epiploic Appendagitis is not yet known, there are several risk factors that can increase your chances of getting this condition. These include:

If you or anyone in your family has or had asthma.

If you have had any kind of chest injury.

If you participate in contact sports such as football, basketball, and soccer.

If you play wind or brass instruments, or have participated in a marching band.

EPA may be limited to people who have undergone surgery or any kind of physical trauma. It is more common in people under the age of fifteen due the increased activity levels and participation in sports. Most children diagnosed with EPA do not show any signs before the condition has become quite severe. If your child shows symptoms of this condition, call your doctor immediately.

How Is Epiploic Appendagitis Diagnosed?

The doctor may ask some questions about your symptoms and medical history. He or she will then examine you and ask you to perform some breathing exercises. If these exercises cause pain, tightness, or wheezing in your chest, this is a sign that you may have Epiploic Appendagitis.

Sources & references used in this article:

Acute epiploic appendagitis and its mimics by AK Singh, DA Gervais, PF Hahn, P Sagar… – Radiographics, 2005 – pubs.rsna.org

Epiploic appendagitis–clinical characteristics of an uncommon surgical diagnosis by M Sand, M Gelos, FG Bechara, D Sand, TH Wiese… – BMC surgery, 2007 – Springer

Primary epiploic appendagitis: evolutionary changes in CT appearance. by PM Rao, J Wittenberg, JN Lawrason – Radiology, 1997 – pubs.rsna.org

Misdiagnosis of primary epiploic appendagitis by PM Rao, JT Rhea, J Wittenberg, AL Warshaw – The American journal of …, 1998 – Elsevier

Epiploic appendagitis: the emergency department presentation by EL Legome, AL Belton, RE Murray, PM Rao… – The Journal of …, 2002 – Elsevier