US calculates splenic volume within ten minutes

(Ultrasound Review) Sonographic measurements of the spleen were compared with volumes established with helical CT to determine which was the best method of measurement.

Radiologists at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, IL, were commonly asked to assess patients for suspected splenomegaly, but were not confident about the most accurate measurement method, they wrote in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

At this institution, nuclear medicine imaging was performed for the assessment of splenic volume, however "CT is known to be a reliable and accurate method for assessing the volume of the spleen and other intraabdominal organs," according to Dr. Ellen Yetter and colleagues.

During an 18-month period, the authors compared splenic volume measurements in 117 patients. The elapsed time between CT and ultrasound examinations was never more than 30 days, and most patients had both examinations on the same day.

"Maximum length (ML) and width (W), thickness (T), and craniocaudal length (CCL) were measured sonographically," the authors wrote. Multiple sets of measurements were compared with CT volume for each patient, including standard prolate ellipsoid volume (0.524 x W x T x L) using both ML and CCL; the linear regression formula using both ML and CCL; and a new ellipsoid volume that used average length [(ML + CCL) / 2].

The authors established that "sonographic measurements allow accurate determination of splenic volume. Estimating splenic volume with the formula 0.524 x W x T x (ML + CCL)/2 provides the greatest overall accuracy."

Referring physicians soon came to expect sonographic volumes and began to routinely request this information due to the clinical usefulness, the authors stated. Calculating splenic volume added only 5-10 minutes to the examination and the authors recommended this additional measurement in patients presenting with "gastrointestinal, liver, or hematologic diseases or with suspected splenomegaly."

Estimating splenic volume: sonographic measurements correlated with helical CT determination
Ellen Yetter. et. al.
Department of radiology, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL
AJR 2003 December; 181:1615-1620

By Ultrasound Review
January 19, 2004

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