CT use cuts negative appendectomy rates

Publication: AuntMinnie.com By: Eric Barnes

CT is highly sensitive and specific for identifying acute appendicitis in both men and women, concludes a June 21 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. In nearly 3,000 patients with suspected acute appendicitis, CT of the abdomen and pelvis appeared to reduce negative appendectomy and perforation rates.

Recent data from studies of patients who received an appendectomy also suggest benefits from increased use of MDCT, supporting its routine use for suspected appendicitis in adults, said researchers from the University of Wisconsin. However, surgery-based databases alone can’t assess the sensitivity and specificity of MDCT because they exclude the larger nonsurgical cohorts in which imaging rules out appendicitis. Few MDCT studies have looked at CT’s diagnostic performance in adults.

“High test sensitivity is critical to efficiently identify all patients who need appendectomy, but it is also desirable to avoid unnecessary surgical procedures,” wrote Dr. Perry Pickhardt and colleagues (Annals of Internal Medicine, June 21, 2011).

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