Sonography of paediatric appendicitis and its secondary signs

Reddan, Tristan, Harden, Fiona, Corness, Jonathan, & Mengersen, Kerrie (2014) Sonography of paediatric appendicitis and its secondary signs. In 21st Annual National Conference of the Australian Sonographers Association, 23-25 May 2014, Adelaide, S.A. (Unpublished)


Sonographic diagnosis of appendicitis in children is an important clinical tool, often obviating the need for potentially harmful ionising radiation from computed tomography (CT) scans and unnecessary appendectomies. Established criteria do not commonly account for the sonographic secondary signs of acute appendicitis as an adjunct or corollary to an identifiably inflamed appendix. If one of, or combinations of these secondary signs are a reliable positive and/or negative indicator of the condition, diagnostic accuracy may be improved. This will be of particular importance in cases where the appendix cannot be easily identified, possibly providing referring clinicians with a less equivocal diagnosis. Acute appendicitis (AA) is the most common emergency presentation requiring surgical intervention among both adults and children. During 2010-11 in Australia 25000 appendicectomies were performed on adults and children, more than double the number of the next most common surgical procedure [1]. Ultrasound has been commonly used to diagnose AA since the 1980s, however the best imaging modality or combination of modalities to accurately and cost-effectively diagnose the condition is still debated. A study by Puylaert advocated ultrasound in all presentations [2], whereas others suggested it only as a first line modality [3–5]. Conversely, York et al state that it is not appropriate as it delays treatment [6]. CT has been shown to more accurately diagnose AA than ultrasound, however its inherent radiation risks warrant cautionary use in children [7]. Improved accuracy in the diagnosis of suspected AA using ultrasound would enable surgeons to make a decision without the need to expose children to the potentially harmful effects of CT. Secondary signs of appendicitis are well established [8], although research into their predictive values has only recently been undertaken [9,10] indicating their potential diagnostic benefit in the absence of an identifiable appendix. The purpose of this review is to examine the history of appendiceal sonography, established sonographic criteria, paediatric specific techniques and the predictive value of secondary signs.

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ID Code: 92893
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Winner - Best Poster ASA Adelaide 2014
Additional URLs:
Keywords: appendicitis, child, paediatrics, sonography, ultrasound
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300) > Radiology and Organ Imaging (110320)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PAEDIATRICS AND REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE (111400) > Paediatrics (111403)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Clinical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Mathematical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 17 Feb 2016 00:12
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2016 00:12

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