Diagnostic Accuracy of MRI Versus CT for the Evaluation of Acute Appendicitis in Children and Young Adults.
AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2017 Oct;209(4):911-919. doi: 10.2214/AJR.16.17413. Epub 2017 Aug 10. Kinner S1,2, Pickhardt PJ1, Riedesel EL1, Gill KG1, Robbins JB1, Kitchin DR1, Ziemlewicz TJ1, Harringa JB3, Reeder SB1,3,4,5,6, Repplinger MD1,3.
OBJECTIVE: Appendicitis is frequently diagnosed in the emergency department, most commonly using CT. The purpose of this study was to compare the diagnostic accuracy of contrast-enhanced MRI with that of contrast-enhanced CT for the diagnosis of appendicitis in adolescents when interpreted by abdominal radiologists and pediatric radiologists.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Our study included a prospectively enrolled cohort of 48 patients (12-20 years old) with nontraumatic abdominal pain who underwent CT and MRI. Fellowship-trained abdominal and pediatric radiologists reviewed all CT and MRI studies in randomized order, blinded to patient outcome. Likelihood for appendicitis was rated on a 5-point scale (1, definitely not appendicitis; 5, definitely appendicitis) for CT, the unenhanced portion of the MRI, and the entire contrast-enhanced MRI study. ROC curves were generated and AUC compared for each scan type for all six readers and then stratified by radiologist type. Image test characteristics, interrater reliability, and reading times were compared.
RESULTS: Sensitivity and specificity were 85.9% (95% CI, 76.2-92.7%) and 93.8% (95% CI, 89.7-96.7%) for unenhanced MRI, 93.6% (95% CI, 85.6-97.9%) and 94.3% (95% CI, 90.2-97%) for contrast-enhanced MRI, and 93.6% (95% CI, 85.6-97.9%) and 94.3% (95% CI, 90.2-97%) for CT. No difference was found in the diagnostic accuracy or interpretation time when comparing abdominal radiologists to pediatric radiologists (CT, 3.0 min vs 2.8 min; contrast-enhanced MRI, 2.4 min vs 1.8 min; unenhanced MRI, 1.5 min vs 2.3 min). Substantial agreement between abdominal and pediatric radiologists was seen for all methods (κ = 0.72-0.83).
CONCLUSION: The diagnostic accuracy of MRI to diagnose appendicitis was very similar to CT. No statistically significant difference in accuracy was observed between imaging modality or radiologist subspecialty.