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

April 30, 2012

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

Big Data shows how cancer interacts with its surroundings

October 23, 2017
By combining data from sources that at first seemed to be incompatible, UC San Francisco researchers have identified a molecular signature in tissue adjacent to tumors in eight of the most common cancers that suggests they ...

Symptom burden may increase hospital length of stay, readmission risk in advanced cancer

October 23, 2017
Hospitalized patients with advanced cancer who report more intense and numerous physical and psychological symptoms appear to be at risk for longer hospital stays and unplanned hospital readmissions. The report from a Massachusetts ...

CAR-T immunotherapy may help blood cancer patients who don't respond to standard treatments

October 20, 2017
Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is one of the first centers nationwide to offer a new immunotherapy that targets certain blood cancers. Newly approved ...

Researchers pinpoint causes for spike in breast cancer genetic testing

October 20, 2017
A sharp rise in the number of women seeking BRCA genetic testing to evaluate their risk of developing breast cancer was driven by multiple factors, including celebrity endorsement, according to researchers at the University ...

Study shows how nerves drive prostate cancer

October 19, 2017
In a study in today's issue of Science, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, part of Montefiore Medicine, report that certain nerves sustain prostate cancer growth by triggering a switch that causes tumor vessels ...

Gene circuit switches on inside cancer cells, triggers immune attack

October 19, 2017
Researchers at MIT have developed a synthetic gene circuit that triggers the body's immune system to attack cancers when it detects signs of the disease.

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.