CT is widely considered the modality of choice in patients with suspected appendicitis, but the increased use has resulted in a concurrent increase in radiation exposure, Dr. Hee Mang Yoon from the University of Ulsan told AuntMinnie.com.
"Many researchers have studied low-dose CT scanning in suspected appendicitis," he said. "However, the diagnostic performance of low-dose CT has not yet been systematically evaluated."
The researchers performed a systematic review and diagnostic meta-analysis of 14 original studies using low-dose CT on 3,262 patients. Among the 11 studies directly comparing low-dose (1.8 mSv) with standard-dose (7.9 mSv) CT, all of them demonstrated comparable sensitivity and specificity in the diagnosis of appendicitis, and no significant differences (p = 0.41) were reported.
"Low-dose CT achieved an effective dose reduction of 78%," Yoon said. "Interestingly, diagnostic performance did not change whether or not intravenous contrast agents were used."