A 29-year-old G3P2 black woman in the thirty-third week of gestation is admitted to the emergency room because of acute abdominal pain that has been increasing during the past 24 hours.

A 29-year-old G3P2 black woman in the thirty-third week of gestation is admitted to the emergency room because of acute abdominal pain that has been increasing during the past 24 hours. The pain is severe and is radiating from the epigastrium to the back. The patient has vomited a few times and has not eaten or had a bowel movement since the pain started. On examination, you observe an acutely ill patient lying on the bed with her knees drawn up. Her blood pressure is 100/70 mm Hg, her pulse is 110 beats per minute, and her temperature is 38.8°C (101.8°F). On palpation, the abdomen is somewhat distended and tender, mainly in the epigastric area, and the uterine fundus reaches 31 cm above the symphysis. Hypotonic bowel sounds are noted. Fetal monitoring reveals a normal pattern of fetal heart rate (FHR) without uterine contractions. On ultrasonography, the fetus is in vertex presentation and appropriate in size for gestational age; fetal breathing and trunk movements are noted, and the volume of amniotic fluid is normal. The placenta is located on the anterior uterine wall and no previa is seen. Laboratory values show mild leukocytosis (12,000 cells per mL); a hematocrit of 43; mildly elevated serum glutamicoxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT), serum glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (SGPT), and bilirubin; and serum amylase of 180 U/dL. Urinalysis is normal. Which of the following is the most likely diagnosis?

a. Acute degeneration of uterine leiomyoma

b. Acute cholecystitis

c. Acute pancreatitis

d. Acute appendicitis

e. Severe preeclamptic toxemia

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