Beyond Acute Appendicitis: Fascinating Lesions of the Vermiform Appendix


Disease of the vermiform appendix has been documented as far back as the Egyptian mummies, one of whom was reported to have evidence of appendiceal inflammation by scientists who studied him/her several hundred years later. Several distinguished anatomists (including da Vinci) consistently described both the appendix and associated inflammation around the early 16th century. The first appendectomy was performed in 1735 in London for removal of an appendix that had been perforated by an ingested pin (remember that there was no general anesthesia then!). Over the next hundred years physicians gained increasing amounts of knowledge about the process of acute appendicitis, and its surgical removal became more successful. Despite the fact that it has been studied, removed, and dissected for hundreds of years, the nature of the normal appendix, as well as our understanding of many of the pathologic processes that affect it, remains far from clear.

Originally published on March 3, 2022

Lecture Presenter

Laura Lamps, MD

Laura Lamps, MD

Godfrey Dorr Stobbe Professor and Director of Gastrointestinal Pathology
Dept. of Pathology, University of Michigan
Patient Safety Officer
University of Michigan Health System

Dr. Laura Webb Lamps, MD is the Godfrey D. Stobbe Professor of Gastrointestinal Pathology at the University of Michigan Department of Pathology, and the first Patient Safety Officer for the University of Michigan Hospital System. Dr. Lamps, originally from Auburn, Alabama, received her B.S. degree from Davidson College, followed by her M.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1992. She also completed her residency and surgical pathology fellowship training at Vanderbilt. She joined the faculty at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in 1998, where until February of 2017 she was Professor of Pathology and Vice Chair for Academic Affairs, as well as the Associate Chief Quality Officer for Risk and Safety.

Dr. Lamps is a renowned academic pathologist and educator, and a leader in the fields of gastrointestinal, hepatic, and infectious disease pathology. She has received multiple teaching awards, and has been invited as a visiting professor or course faculty at over 60 institutions throughout the country and the world. She has authored numerous papers and abstracts, particularly in her primary area of interest, the study of infectious diseases of the liver and GI tract. She is the co-author or author of several major pathology textbooks including Surgical Pathology of the Gastrointestinal System: Bacterial, Fungal, Viral, and Parasitic Infections; Diagnostic Pathology: Normal Histology; and Diagnostic Pathology: GI Endoscopic Correlation. She has also contributed numerous book chapters to texts including Odze and Goldblum’s Surgical Pathology of the Gastrointestinal Tract, Liver, Biliary Tract, and Pancreas, which is regarded as the most widely used GI textbook in the world. She is one of four editors of the recently published 11th edition of Rosai and Ackerman’s Surgical Pathology. Until March of 2017, she served as the chair of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology Education Committee.

Dr. Lamps lives in Ann Arbor with her husband, Paul Ward, and their rescue corgi, Henry. She is active in animal welfare efforts, and served on the board and as the past President of the Central Arkansas Rescue Effort for Animals. She is an avid knitter, cook, and substitute yoga instructor.


After this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Diagnose correctly an acute appendicitis
  • Generate a differential diagnosis for infectious disease of the appendix
  • Perform gross evaluation of appendicitis correctly

Sponsored by:

University of Utah School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, and ARUP Laboratories