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      Integrating MR Imaging into the Clinical Workup of Pregnant Patients Suspected of Having Appendicitis Is Associated with a Lower Negative Laparotomy Rate: Single-Institution Study

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      Radiology

      Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)

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          Most cited references 22

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          Appendicitis at the millennium.

          Acute appendicitis is a common clinical problem. Accurate and prompt diagnosis is essential to minimize morbidity. While the clinical diagnosis may be straightforward in patients who present with classic signs and symptoms, atypical presentations may result in diagnostic confusion and delay in treatment. Helical computed tomography (CT) and graded compression color Doppler ultrasonography (US) are highly accurate means of establishing the diagnosis. These imaging modalities have now assumed critical roles in the treatment of patients suspected to have appendicitis. The purpose of this article is threefold: to provide an update on new information regarding the pathophysiology, clinical diagnosis, and laparoscopic treatment of acute appendicitis; to describe the state-of-the art use of CT and US in diagnosing this disease entity; and to address the role of medical imaging in this patient population.
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            Radiation exposure and pregnancy: when should we be concerned?

            The potential biological effects of in utero radiation exposure of a developing fetus include prenatal death, intrauterine growth restriction, small head size, mental retardation, organ malformation, and childhood cancer. The risk of each effect depends on the gestational age at the time of exposure, fetal cellular repair mechanisms, and the absorbed radiation dose level. A comparison between the dose levels associated with each of these risks and the estimated fetal doses from typical radiologic examinations lends support to the conclusion that fetal risks are minimal and, therefore, that radiologic and nuclear medicine examinations that may provide significant diagnostic information should not be withheld from pregnant women. The latter position is advocated by the International Commission on Radiological Protection, National Council on Radiation Protection, American College of Radiology, and American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. However, although the risks are small, it is important to ensure that radiation doses are kept as low as reasonably achievable. RSNA, 2007
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              Acute appendicitis: meta-analysis of diagnostic performance of CT and graded compression US related to prevalence of disease.

              This study was a head-to-head comparison of graded compression ultrasonography (US) and computed tomography (CT) in helping diagnose acute appendicitis with an emphasis on diagnostic value at different disease prevalences, commonly occurring in various hospital settings. MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Cochrane databases were searched from January 1966 to February 2006. Prospective trials were selected if they (a) compared graded compression US and CT in the same patient population; (b) included more than 10 patients, otherwise, the study was considered a case report; (c) evaluated mainly adults or adolescents; (d) used surgery and/or clinical follow-up as reference standard; and (e) reported data to calculate 2 x 2 contingency tables for graded compression US and CT. Estimates of sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative likelihood ratios (LRs) for US and CT were calculated. Posttest probabilities after CT and US were calculated for various clinically relevant prevalences. Six studies were included, evaluating 671 patients (mean age range, 26-38 years); prevalence of acute appendicitis was 50% (range, 13%-77%). Positive LR was 9.29 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 6.9, 12.6) for CT and 4.50 (95% CI: 3.0, 6.7; P = .011) for US, yielding posttest probabilities for positive tests of 90% and 82%, respectively. Negative LR was 0.10 (95% CI: 0.06, 0.17) for CT and 0.27 (95% CI: 0.17, 0.43) for US (P = .013), resulting in posttest probabilities of 9% and 21%, respectively. Posttest probabilities for positive tests were markedly decreased at lower prevalences. In head-to-head comparison studies of diagnostic imaging, CT had a better test performance than did graded compression US in diagnosing appendicitis. Ignoring the relationship between prevalence (pretest probability) and diagnostic value may lead to an inaccurate estimation of diagnostic performance. (c) RSNA, 2008.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Radiology
                Radiology
                Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)
                0033-8419
                1527-1315
                April 2013
                April 2013
                : 267
                : 1
                : 137-144
                Article
                10.1148/radiol.12121027
                © 2013
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