Radiology report “disclaimers” increase the use of abdominal CT in the work-up of pediatric abdominal pain


By: Scott Alter, MD; Bria Walsh, MD; Patrick Lenehan, MD; Richard Shih, MD

Abstract
Objective
Pediatric abdominal pain is commonly evaluated in the emergency department (ED) initially by ultrasonography (U/S). Radiology reports often include commentary about U/S limitations and possible need for additional testing or evaluation independent of study interpretation. We sought to determine if presence of a “disclaimer” is associated with additional imaging.

Methods
Design: Retrospective cohort. Setting: Community ED with volume of 85,000 annual visits. Population: Consecutive ED patients < 21-years-old with appendix U/S over 12-months. Radiologist reports were assessed for disclaimers and if definitive diagnoses of appendicitis were made. The incidence of subsequent CT imaging was determined and group differences between categories were calculated. [Read more…]

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