CT cuts surgeries in women of childbearing age suspected of appendicitis

Preoperative CT may help reduce unnecessary surgeries in reproductive-age women suspected of acute appendicitis, according to a study from Duke University.

Preoperative CT may help reduce unnecessary surgeries in reproductive-age women suspected of acute appendicitis, according to a study from Duke University.

Emory University in Atlanta, and former Duke colleagues reviewed a surgical database of 925 patients who underwent urgent appendectomy at Duke between January 1998 and September 2007.

January 1998 and September 2007. The percentage of patients who had preoperative CT increased significantly, from 18.5% in 1998 to 93.2% in 2007. The increased use corresponded with a lower negative appendectomy rate for women age 45 or younger. The negative appendectomy rate among those women dropped from 42.9% in 1998 to 7.1% in 2007.

The increased use of preoperative CT did not coincide with a lower negative appendectomy rate in men, regardless of age, or in women older than 45, according to Coursey. The lack of decline might be attributable to a very low negative appendectomy rate in those groups at the beginning of the study period, Coursey said.