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Acute Cholecystitis: Computed Tomography (CT) versus Ultrasound (US)

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Document pages: 9 pages

Abstract: Acute cholecystitis is a common surgical emergency and ultrasound (US) is currently considered the first-line diagnostic imaging test. The relative accuracy of computed tomography (CT) in detecting acute cholecystitis has received little attention in the literature. We report a case series of 113 patients who underwent emergency laparoscopic cholecystectomy at a tertiary surgical centre in Australia, between 2014 and 2016, after undergoing both US and CT examination for acute right upper quadrant pain. Both US and CT had a relatively low sensitivity in detecting acute cholecystitis in the patients with histologically proven acute cholecystitis (47 and 45 respectively) but high specificity (84 and 79 respectively). As expected, US was much more sensitive in detecting cholelithiasis (92 ) in comparison to CT (55 ). With the added advantage of CT in excluding other alternative intra-abdominal pathology in patients presenting with acute right upper quadrant pain, and similar accuracy in detecting acute cholecystitis, the need for ultrasound may be negated in cases where acute cholecystitis has been confirmed on CT. However, it is noted that both US and CT had a significant false negative rate for acute cholecystitis, and if there remains a clinical suspicion despite initial normal imaging, repeat delayed imaging and or surgical opinion may be warranted.

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