RSNA: Remote Diagnosis Feasible for Acute Appendicitis

Use of handheld devices equipped with special software useful for emergent consultations
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A handheld device or mobile phone equipped with special software may enable radiologists to accurately diagnose acute appendicitis from a remote site, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, held from Nov. 29 to Dec. 4 in Chicago.

Asim Choudhri, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues assessed the accuracy of five radiologists who used an iPhone G3 equipped with OsiriX Mobile medical image viewing software to review computed tomography examinations from 25 patients with right lower quadrant pain.

The researchers found that the radiologists correctly identified the 15 patients with confirmed acute appendicitis on 74 (99 percent) of 75 interpretations, with only one false negative reading and no false positive readings. In evaluating patients with acute appendicitis, the radiologists also correctly identified calcified deposits, inflammation near the appendix, and fluid near the appendix in 88, 96, and 94 percent, respectively, of their interpretations.

"This technology may be useful for emergent consultations, in particular in an academic setting where on-call faculty physicians may not have immediate access to a computer," the authors conclude.

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