Low-dose CT scans can detect appendicitis, finds study

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Rajeev Choudhury

It is now possible to diagnose appendicitis accurately using low-dose CT scans, a new study published in the British Journal of Surgery indicated.

Appendicitis is regarded as one of the most common causes for hospitalisation and appendix removal is among the most common surgical procedures performed worldwide, available data suggest.

When appendicitis patients do not complain of pain in the lower right abdomen, but in other places like the rectum or back or may even complain of pain during passing urine, CT scan plays an important part in diagnosis.

However, the concerns about radiation exposure remain an issue among the doctors as well as patients or their caregivers.

The researchers in the study noted that due to concerns about radiations, ultrasound remains as most preferred diagnosis method.

Options for non-operative interventions in case of uncomplicated appendicitis are increasing but they demand accurate diagnosis, they further noted.

Researchers at Turku University Hospital, Finland, found that low-dose CT scan was able to diagnose with and without acute appendicitis in 98% of cases as compared to 98.5% by standard-dose CT scans.

“This study shows that low-dose and standard-dose CT scans were accurate both in identifying appendicitis and in differentiating between serious cases requiring surgery," they concluded.

In a separate study published in the World Journal of Surgery, researchers found that through death due to appendicitis is decreasing, the number of cases has increased by about 11.4% between 1990 and 2019.

As of 2019, appendicitis accounted for an estimated 17.7 million cases resulting in 33,400 deaths worldwide.

 


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