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

April 30, 2012, American Roentgen Ray Society

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.

Explore further: Experts offer pointers for optimizing radiation dose in head CT

Related Stories

Experts offer pointers for optimizing radiation dose in head CT

August 1, 2011
An article in the August issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology summarizes methods for radiation dose optimization in head computed tomography (CT) scans. Head CT is the second most commonly performed ...

Experts offer pointers for optimizing radiation dose in chest CT

September 1, 2011
An article in the September issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology summarizes methods for radiation dose optimization in chest computed tomography (CT) scans. Chest CT is the third most commonly performed ...

Experts offer pointers for optimizing radiation dose in pediatric CT

January 6, 2012
An article in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology summarizes methods for radiation dose optimization in pediatric computed tomography (CT) scans. Approximately seven to eight million CT examinations ...

Study says eliminate pelvic imaging to reduce radiation for the detection of venous thromboembolism

May 3, 2011
A recent study shows that pelvic imaging using computed tomography (CT) examinations are not necessary for diagnosing patients with venous thromboembolism (VTE) and eliminating this exam can significantly reduce a patient's ...

Recommended for you

Metastatic cancer gorges on fructose in the liver

April 26, 2018
Biomedical engineers at Duke University have demonstrated that metastatic cancer cells can reprogram their metabolism to thrive in new organs. Specifically, the research shows that cells originating from colorectal cancer ...

Largest-ever study of thyroid cancer genetics finds new mutations, suggests immunotherapy

April 26, 2018
University of Colorado Cancer Center researchers recently completed the largest-ever study of thyroid cancer genetics, mining the data of 583 patient samples of advanced differentiated thyroid cancer and 196 anaplastic thyroid ...

Breast cancer genes a real risk for men, too

April 26, 2018
(HealthDay)—Few American men are screened for gene mutations that can greatly increase their risk of breast and other types of cancers, a new study reveals.

Molecular culprit behind virus-mediated chronic inflammation and cancers identified

April 26, 2018
Within cells infected by Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV), the human protein CADM1 interacts with viral proteins to promote chronic inflammation, which plays a major role in the development of cancers caused by KSHV. Richard ...

PARP-1 may be key to effectiveness of PARP inhibitors, and now researchers can image it

April 26, 2018
Penn Medicine researchers have used CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology to isolate a key genetic feature that could cause resistance to PARP inhibitors in patients with ovarian cancer—and they've also proven they have a ...

Blood cancer precursor found in 9/11 firefighters

April 26, 2018
A study in today's issue of JAMA Oncology reports that New York City firefighters exposed to the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster site face an increased risk for developing myeloma precursor disease (MGUS), which can lead ...

0 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.