Right lower quadrant pain and suspected appendicitis: Nonfocused appendiceal CT - Review of 100 cases

I. R. Kamel, S. N. Goldberg, M. T. Keogan, M. P. Rosen, V. Raptopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: To determine the value of standard, nonfocused computed tomography (CT) in examining patients with right lower quadrant (RLQ) pain and suspected appendicitis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The CT scans and medical records of 100 consecutive patients who presented to the emergency department with RLQ pain and were clinically suspected of having appendicitis were retrospectively reviewed. Helical CT of both the abdomen and pelvis was performed at 7-mm increments after oral and intravenous contrast material administration. CT scans were evaluated for the presence of appendiceal or other disease. Results were correlated with surgical and pathologic findings in 34 patients or with 3-month clinical follow-up in 66 patients. RESULTS: CT depicted abnormalities in 66 patients (66%). In 59 (59%) patients, the abnormality was located in the pelvis; 23 (39%) of these patients had appendicitis. Seven (7%) patients had abnormalities outside of the pelvis, a region not typically scanned during focused appendiceal imaging. Four of these seven patients required surgery. Thus, if only pelvic focused RLQ CT had been performed, overall sensitivity would have decreased from 99% to 88% (P < .05) and sensitivity for cases necessitating surgery would have decreased from 96% to 82% (P < .05). CONCLUSION: Both abdominal and pelvic CT examinations are necessary to increase sensitivity and identify the many possible causes of RLQ pain in patients with clinically suspected appendicitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-163
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Abdomen, CT
  • Abdomen, acute conditions
  • Appendicitis
  • Pelvis, CT
  • Uterine neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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