Study examines benefit of follow-up CT when abdominal ultrasound inconclusive

About one-third of CT examinations performed following an inconclusive abdominal ultrasound examination have positive findings, according to a study of 449 patients at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Opinions vary as to the need and relevance for further diagnostic imaging workup after an inconclusive abdominal , said Supriya Gupta, MD, one of the authors of the study. "Our study found that 32.9% of follow-up CT examinations had positive findings, while 42.7% had findings that were not significant and 11.7% were equivocal. The remaining 12% had incidental findings, that is, important findings but not related to the clinical indication for the exam, said Dr. Gupta.

"While only about 33% of the had positive findings it doesn't mean that the other CT exams were not valuable as sometimes even negative exams add a lot to patient management," noted Dr. Gupta.

The study found that follow-up CT was most useful in diagnosing renal lesions. The positivity rate for CT was 87.5% for renal cysts and 81.8% for renal stone, said Dr. Gupta. Renal cysts and renal stone were two of the more common indications for recommending follow-up CT.

CT had the least value as a follow up exam for indeterminate pancreatic and intestinal masses on ultrasound, with a less than 10% positivity rate" said Dr. Gupta.

The study results emphasize that the benefits of CT as a follow-up to inconclusive ultrasound examinations need to be more carefully reviewed; standardized guidelines for the use of follow-up CT need to be developed because the use of CT has cost and implications, said Dr. Gupta.

The study will be presented on April 30 at the American Roentgen Ray Society Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Spicy treatment the answer to aggressive cancer?

date Jul 03, 2015

It has been treasured by food lovers for thousands of years for its rich golden colour, peppery flavour and mustardy aroma…and now turmeric may also have a role in fighting cancer.

Cancer survivors who smoke perceive less risk from tobacco

date Jul 02, 2015

Cancer survivors who smoke report fewer negative opinions about smoking, have more barriers to quitting, and are around other smokers more often than survivors who had quit before or after their diagnosis, according to a ...

Melanoma mutation rewires cell metabolism

date Jul 02, 2015

A mutation found in most melanomas rewires cancer cells' metabolism, making them dependent on a ketogenesis enzyme, researchers at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University have discovered.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.