MRI in suspected appendicitis

Is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) useful in the evaluation of children with suspected appendicitis? 

MRI has been suggested as an alternative to CT in children suspected of appendicitis with an inconclusive ultrasound to avoid the detrimental effects of radiation. It has been shown that the sensitivity of MRI without contrast in diagnosing appendicitis has been up to 100%, with a specificity of 96%, a positive predictive value of 88%, and a negative predictive value of 100%. This diagnostic performance, in addition to its lack of radiation, makes MRI attractive as a potential alternative to CT for the diagnosis of appendicitis. 


Apelsund G, Fingeret A, Gross E, et al: Ultrasonography/MRI versus CT for diagnosing appendicitis. Pediatrics 2014;133:1-8. 

Herliczek TW, Swenson DW, Mayo-Smith WW: Utility of MRI after inconclusive ultrasound in pediatric patients with suspected appendicitis: Retrospective review of 60 consecutive patients. AJR Am J Roentgenol 2013;200:969-973. 

Moore MM, Gustas CN, Choudhary AK, et al: MRI for clinically suspected pediatric appendicitis: An implemented program. Pediatr Radiol 2012;42:1056-1063.


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