There are >250,000 cases of appendicitis in the US annually, most of which are diagnosed by CT scan. This study compared the diagnostic accuracy of low dose versus high dose CT for diagnosing appendicitis, and found no difference between the 2 study types in rates of negative appendectomies (surrogate for false positives) or appendix perforation rates (surrogate for false negatives resulting in diagnostic delays). The amount of radiation exposure was only ~a quarter with low dose compared to high dose. Low dose CT should be considered for rule out appendicitis imaging, especially in centers with experienced radiologists (abstract)
Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.