Sharp and Children's MRI Center has published a study in Pediatric Radiology showing MRI is capable of diagnosing acute appendicitis in children.
Sharp and Children's MRI Center has published a study in Pediatric Radiology showing MRI is capable of diagnosing acute appendicitis in children. The purpose of the study, "Diagnostic Performance of Contrast-Enhanced MR for Acute Appendicitis and Alternative Causes of Abdominal Pain In Children" was to determine the diagnostic performance of contrast enhanced MRI for acute appendicitis, the most common cause of emergency surgery for children with acute abdominal pain. Currently, most institutions across the country use a combination of ultrasound and computed tomography (CT, commonly known as CAT scan) to diagnose appendicitis in children. In November 2012, Sharp and Children's MRI Center replaced CT with MRI for children presenting with symptoms typical of appendicitis.
Reducing radiation exposure has become an important goal in medical imaging. Studies have shown that children exposed to multiple CT scans are more likely to develop some form of cancer later in life. This study demonstrates that MRI is a suitable alternative that uses no radiation. "We are very excited to publish our experience with MRI in evaluating children presenting to the emergency room with acute abdominal pain," said Jeffrey L. Koning, MD, lead study author and radiology resident at the University of California, San Diego. "We have shown that children are able to undergo MRI in an efficient manner from the emergency room and they tolerate the examination. We have excellent accuracy diagnosing all causes of acute abdominal pain. This new imaging evaluation protocol has significantly decreased radiation exposure in children and placed our institution at the forefront of pediatric imaging and emergency care."
The study concluded that contrast-enhanced MRI is capable of accurately diagnosing acute appendicitis which is a part of a larger trend in medical imaging to reduce radiation in children. MRI is shown to be an effective substitute to US and CT and provides additional diagnostic information that US and CT may not provide.
Founded in 1986, Sharp and Children's MRI Center, LLC is a joint venture owned by Sharp Memorial Hospital, Rady Children's Hospital and San Diego Imaging Medical Group (SDIMG). Their mission is to provide high quality, comprehensive magnetic resonance imaging for adults and children using advanced imaging technologies. Their locations are on the campus of Sharp Memorial Hospital at 7901 Frost St., Rady Children's Hospital at 3020 Children's Way and Physician's Medical Center at 7910 Frost St., are all accredited by the American College of Radiology.