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Biomed Res Int. 2016;2016:5697692. doi: 10.1155/2016/5697692. Epub 2016 Dec 1.

Ultrasound for Appendicitis: Performance and Integration with Clinical Parameters.

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Department of Clinical Sciences, Pediatrics, and Department of Pediatric Surgery, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.


Objective. To evaluate the performance of ultrasound in pediatric appendicitis and the integration of US with the pediatric appendicitis score (PAS) and C-reactive protein (CRP). Method. An institution-based, retrospective study of children who underwent abdominal US for suspected appendicitis between 2012 and 2015 at a tertiary pediatric surgery center. US results were dichotomized, with a nonvisualized appendix considered as a negative examination. Results. In total, 438 children were included (mean 8.5 years, 54% boys), with an appendicitis rate of 29%. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) for US were 82%, 97%, 92%, and 93%, respectively, without significant age or gender differences. Pediatric radiologists had significantly higher sensitivity compared to general radiologists, 88% and 71%, respectively (p < 0.01), but no differences were seen for specificity, PPV, and NPV. The sensitivity, NPV, and negative likelihood ratio for the combination of negative US, PAS < 5, and CRP < 5 mg/L were 98%, 98%, and 0.05 (95% CI 0.03-0.15). Conclusion. US may be a useful tool for evaluating children with suspected appendicitis, regardless of age or gender, and should be the first choice of imaging modalities. Combining US with PAS and CRP may reduce several unnecessary admissions for in-hospital observation.

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