The probability of acute appendicitis is very low if there is no distinctly apparent appendix on the CT scan, and in the absence of any secondary CT signs of appendicitis, says a study by researchers from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
For the study, the researchers analyzed the CT scans of 366 patients with abdominal pain who were referred to rule out the diagnosis of appendicitis. In 46 of the patients, the appendix was not visible on the scan. After further tests or follow-up, the researchers found that only one of those 46 patients actually had acute appendicitis.
Usually, if a physician cannot see the patients appendix on the CT scan, the physician might recommend further investigation or observation because he or she would not be able to rule out acute appendicitis, according to Paul Nikolaidis, MD, lead author of the study. "The findings of this study might provide information to change that course of action," said Dr. Nikolaidis.
Jason Ocker | EurekAlert!
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