Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have developed an algorithm that can help diagnose appendicitis in children and reduce the need for computed tomography, Reuters Health reports.
The algorithm includes elements such as a pediatric surgery consultation without any imaging in patients with unequivocal history, a physical exam and consultation prior to CT for patients with equivocal history, a physical exam and ultrasound results.
The researchers tested the use of the algorithm on pediatric patients who had an appendectomy after presenting to the emergency department. Overall, 135 patients underwent the appendectomy before the algorithm was implemented, while 196 had the appendectomy after implementation.
CT use fell from 38 percent prior to the algorithm's implementation to 19 percent after implementation. Article