Can appendiceal CT scanning be utilized effectively in widespread general surgical practice?

The American surgeon

PubMedID: 12412726

McDonough J, Stasik C, Piontkowsky D, Treisman E. Can appendiceal CT scanning be utilized effectively in widespread general surgical practice?. Am Surg. 2002;68(10):917-21.
Appendiceal CT was first reported in the radiological literature, and has only recently begun to appear in the surgical literature. Much of the enthusiasm surrounding appendiceal CT has come from several publications by relatively few authors. We report the feasibility of implementing an appendiceal CT scanning technique and our initial results. The charts (940) of all patients evaluated for possible appendicitis during a 3-month period were reviewed. A new appendiceal CT scanning technique was performed when the indication was solely to exclude appendicitis. The accuracy of this new technique was determined. Eighty-seven patients were evaluated. Twenty-nine underwent appendiceal CT scanning. The accuracy of interpretation was 85 per cent. In 58 patients who did not receive an appendiceal CT scan the accuracy of surgical decision-making was 82 per cent. These values were not statistically different. We found appendiceal CT scanning to be relatively easy to implement; and its accuracy was better than expected. Our accuracy does not match that reported in the literature by the pioneers of appendiceal CT scanning. More experience with this technique will be required to achieve consistently successful accuracy; the technique can then be utilized in surgical practice and potentially change the diagnostic approach to acute appendicitis.