What are the ACEP recommendations for use of ultrasonography in the diagnosis of appendicitis?

Updated: Jul 23, 2018
  • Author: Sandy Craig, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

Ultrasonography

  • Ultrasonography may offer a safer alternative as a primary diagnostic tool for appendicitis, with CT scanning used in those cases in which ultrasonograms are negative or inconclusive

  • In pediatric patients, American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) clinical policy recommends ultrasonography for confirmation, but not exclusion, of acute appendicitis; to definitively exclude acute appendicitis, the ACEP recommends CT [8, 9]

  • A healthy appendix usually cannot be viewed with ultrasonography; when appendicitis occurs, the ultrasonogram typically demonstrates a noncompressible tubular structure of 7-9 mm in diameter

  • Vaginal ultrasonography alone or in combination with transabdominal scan may be useful to determine the diagnosis in women of childbearing age [10]


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