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J Pediatr Surg. 2015 Jun;50(6):923-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2015.03.012. Epub 2015 Mar 17.

The non-diagnostic ultrasound in appendicitis: is a non-visualized appendix the same as a negative study?

Author information

1
Division of Pediatric, General, and Thoracic Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.
2
Department of Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.
3
Department of Radiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.
4
Division of Pediatric, General, and Thoracic Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA. Electronic address: aaron.lipskar@mountsinai.org.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this retrospective study was to investigate outcomes in children who underwent a non-diagnostic ultrasound (US) evaluating for appendicitis and to identify predictors of a negative diagnosis.

METHODS:

An IRB-approved retrospective chart review was performed on patients age 0-18, who underwent an abdominal US evaluating for acute appendicitis from 2004 through 2013. Clinical data and specified outcomes were recorded, and exams were categorized into non-diagnostic studies and further separated into studies where the appendix was non-visualized.

RESULTS:

Of the 1383 studies included for analysis, 876 were non-diagnostic for acute appendicitis (63.34%) with 777 specifically because the appendix was non-visualized. Seven hundred forty of the 876 non-diagnostic studies and 671 of the 777 non-visualized studies were ultimately considered true negatives, corresponding to a negative predictive value (NPV) of 84.47 and 86.36%, respectively. In patients with WBC <7.5×10(9)/L, the NPV of non-diagnostic and non-visualized studies increased to 97.12 and 98.86%, respectively. Patients with WBC <11.0×10(9)/L have similarly high NPVs of 95.59 and 96.99% (non-diagnostic and non-visualized).

CONCLUSION:

Based on the high NPV of a non-diagnostic US in children without leukocytosis, these patients may safely avoid further diagnostic imaging for the workup of suspected appendicitis.

KEYWORDS:

Abdominal ultrasound; Appendicitis; Negative predictive value; Non-diagnostic ultrasound

PMID:
25841283
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2015.03.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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