Fast acquisition abdominal MRI study for the investigation of suspected acute appendicitis in paediatric patients

Thumbnail Image
s13244-020-00882-7.pdf(3.58 MB)
Published version
James, Karl
Duffy, Patrick
Kavanagh, Richard G.
Carey, Brian W.
Power, Stephen
Ryan, David
Joyce, Stella
Feeley, Aoife
Murphy, Peter
Andrews, Emmet
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Objectives: To assess the diagnostic accuracy of fast acquisition MRI in suspected cases of paediatric appendicitis presenting to a tertiary referral hospital. Materials and methods: A prospective study was undertaken between May and October 2017 of 52 children who presented with suspected appendicitis and were referred for an abdominal ultrasound. All patients included in this study received both an abdominal ultrasound and five-sequence MRI consisting of axial and coronal gradient echo T2 scans, fat-saturated SSFSE and a diffusion-weighted scan. Participants were randomised into groups of MRI with breath-holds or MRI with free breathing. A patient satisfaction survey was also carried out. Histopathology findings, where available, were used as a gold standard for the purposes of data analysis. Statistical analysis was performed, and p values < 0.05 were considered statistically significant. Results: Ultrasound had a sensitivity and specificity of 25% and 92.9%, respectively. MRI with breath-hold had a sensitivity and specificity of 81.8% and 66.7%, respectively, whilst MRI with free breathing was superior with sensitivity and specificity of 92.3% and 84.2%, respectively. MRI with free breathing was also more time efficient (p < 0.0001). Group statistics were comparable (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The use of fast acquisition MRI protocols, particularly free breathing sequences, for patients admitted with suspected appendicitis can result in faster diagnosis, treatment and discharge. It also has a statistically significant diagnostic advantage over ultrasound. Additionally, the higher specificity of MR can reduce the number of negative appendectomies performed in tertiary centres.
Acute appendicitis , Magnetic resonance imaging , Paediatric , Ultrasound
James, K., Duffy, P., Kavanagh, R. G., Carey, B. W., Power, S., Ryan, D., Joyce, S., Feeley, A., Murphy, P., Andrews, E., McEntee, M. F., Moore, M., Bogue, C., Maher, M. M. and O’ Connor, O. J. (2020) 'Fast acquisition abdominal MRI study for the investigation of suspected acute appendicitis in paediatric patients', Insights into Imaging, 11(1), 78 (11 pp). doi: 10.1186/s13244-020-00882-7