ACR Appropriateness Criteria (R) Right Lower Quadrant Pain-Suspected Appendicitis

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Journal of the American College of Radiology: JACR (Impact Factor: 2.84). 11/2011; 8(11):749-55. DOI: 10.1016/j.jacr.2011.07.010
Source: PubMed


The diagnostic imaging of patients presenting with right lower quadrant pain and suspected appendicitis may be organized according to age and gender and to the presence or absence of "classic" signs and symptoms of acute appendicitis. Among adult patients presenting with clinical signs of acute appendicitis, the sensitivity and specificity of CT are greater than those of ultrasound, with improved performance when CT is performed with intravenous contrast. The use of rectal contrast has been associated with decreased time in the emergency department. Computed tomography has also been shown to reduce cost and negative appendectomy rates. Both CT and ultrasound are also effective in the identification of causes of right lower quadrant pain unrelated to appendicitis. Among pediatric patients, the sensitivity and specificity of graded-compression ultrasound can approach those of CT, without the use of ionizing radiation. Performing MRI after inconclusive ultrasound in pregnant patients has been associated with sensitivity and specificity of 80% to 86% and 97% to 99%, respectively. The ACR Appropriateness Criteria(®) are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed every 2 years by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and review include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer-reviewed journals and the application of a well-established consensus methodology (modified Delphi) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures by the panel. In those instances in which evidence is lacking or not definitive, expert opinion may be used to recommend imaging or treatment.

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    • "US is a rapid, safe and readily available imaging modality that does not require the administration of intravenous contrast material for most emergency department indications, and it is advocated as a first-line test in the pregnant patients [7, 8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Acute pelvic pain in pregnancy presents diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. Standard imaging techniques need to be adapted to reduce harm to the foetus from X-rays because of their teratogenic and carcinogenic potential. Ultrasound remains the primary imaging investigation of the pregnant abdomen. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been shown to be useful in the diagnosis of gynaecological and obstetric problems during pregnancy and in the setting of acute abdomen during pregnancy. MRI overcomes some of the limitations of ultrasound, mainly the size of the gravid uterus. MRI poses theoretical risks to the foetus and care must be taken to minimise these with the avoidance of contrast agents. Teaching Points • Ultrasound and MRI are the preferred investigations for acute pelvic pain during pregnancy. • Ultrasound remains the primary imaging investigation because of availability and portability. • MRI helps differentiate causes of acute pelvic pain when ultrasound is inconclusive.
    Insights into Imaging 02/2014; 5(2). DOI:10.1007/s13244-014-0314-8
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    • "However US has important limitations: gas-filled loops may obscure the underlying abnormality, which have important treatment management-related implications, and the obstruction is difficult to stage accurately. The ACR claims that US is the least appropriate imaging modality when high or low-grade SBO is suspected [3]. US study is the examination of choice in the paediatric population also in cases of intussusception, that is typically seen in a previously well infant who had an episode of acute diarrhoea but that may also be seen in older children upto 5-6 y of age in presence of a pathologic “lead point” for intussusception, such as polyps, lymphoma, Meckel’s diverticulum, or Henoch-Schonlein purpura. "
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    ABSTRACT: Acute abdomen is a medical emergency, in which there is sudden and severe pain in abdomen of recent onset with accompanying signs and symptoms that focus on an abdominal involvement. It can represent a wide spectrum of conditions, ranging from a benign and self-limiting disease to a surgical emergency. Nevertheless, only one quarter of patients who have previously been classified with an acute abdomen actually receive surgical treatment, so the clinical dilemma is if the patients need surgical treatment or not and, furthermore, in which cases the surgical option needs to be urgently adopted. Due to this reason a thorough and logical approach to the diagnosis of abdominal pain is necessary. Some Authors assert that the location of pain is a useful starting point and will guide a further evaluation. However some causes are more frequent in the paediatric population (like appendicitis or adenomesenteritis) or are strictly related to the gender (i.e. gynaechologic causes). It is also important to consider special populations such as the elderly or oncologic patients, who may present with atypical symptoms of a disease. These considerations also reflect a different diagnostic approach. Today, surely the integrated imaging, and in particular the use of multidetector Computed Tomography (MDCT) has revolutionised the clinical approach to this condition, simplyfing the diagnosis but burdening the radiologists with the problems related to the clinical management. However although CT emerging as a modality of choice for evaluation of the acute abdomen, ultrasonography (US) remains the primary imaging technique in the majority of cases, especially in young and female patients, when the limitation of the radiation exposure should be mandatory, limiting the use of CT in cases of nondiagnostic US and in all cases where there is a discrepancy between the clinical symptoms and negative imaging at US.
    Critical ultrasound journal 07/2013; 5 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S6. DOI:10.1186/2036-7902-5-S1-S6
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    ABSTRACT: This study aims to retrospectively evaluate the right lower quadrant ultrasounds in women presenting during the second or third trimester of pregnancy for the frequency of appendix visualization and accuracy in diagnosing appendicitis. Institutional Review Board approval was obtained for this Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-compliant study. We reviewed imaging records from 99 consecutive pregnant women from 2001 to 2011 who presented during the second (≥14 weeks gestation) or third trimester for right lower quadrant ultrasound to evaluate the appendix. Visualization of the appendix as well as the size and compressibility, if identified, were recorded. The medical records and labs related to the initial patient presentation, subsequent management, and follow-up were reviewed for surgical and clinical outcomes. Pathology records were reviewed to determine if appendicitis was present when appendectomy was performed. Patients who underwent appendectomy were considered to have appendicitis based on pathology results, and patients managed non-operatively with symptom improvement and those with a normal appendix at pathology were considered to not have appendicitis. During the study period, 99 women meeting inclusion criteria presented to our institution for right lower quadrant ultrasound to evaluate the appendix during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. The mean gestational age at presentation was 23 weeks (±7 weeks). The mean maternal age was 28 years (±6.6 years). The appendix was not visualized in 97% (96/99) of right lower quadrant ultrasound examinations. Of the three studies in which the appendix was visualized, two were considered positive for appendicitis and one was considered negative. Eight patients in this group ultimately underwent appendectomy, including the two patients with positive right lower quadrant ultrasounds, and appendicitis confirmed at pathology in seven of these cases (87.5%). Right lower quadrant ultrasound successfully demonstrated an abnormal appendix in 28.7% (two of seven) of surgically confirmed cases; however, this technique did not detect appendicitis in 71% (five of seven) of patients with surgically proven disease due to nonvisualization of the appendix. Retrospective review of right lower quadrant ultrasounds performed during the second and third trimester of pregnancy suggests that this modality has limited utility for diagnosing appendicitis due to infrequent visualization of the appendix.
    Emergency Radiology 02/2012; 19(4):293-9. DOI:10.1007/s10140-012-1029-0
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