Negative appendectomy and imaging accuracy in the washington state surgical care and outcomes assessment program

Michael Florence, David R. Flum, Gregory Jurkovich, Paul Lin, Scott R. Steele, Rebecca Gaston Symons, Richard Thirlby, Joseph Cuschieri

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147 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate negative appendectomy (NA) and the relationship of NA and computed tomography (CT) and/or ultrasound (US). Summary Background Information: NA may be influenced by the use and accuracy of preoperative CT/US. The Surgical Care and Outcomes Assessment Program (SCOAP) gathers chart-abstracted process of care data (such as CT/US accuracy) for general surgical procedures (including appendectomy) at most Washington State hospitals. Methods: We determined the prevalence of NA and CT/US concordance at the 15 SCOAP hospitals with >50 consecutive patients undergoing appendectomy (2006-2007). Results: The number of patients who underwent urgent appendectomies was 3540. The percentage of patients who had imaging (CT-91%) was 86% (women-89%, men-83%). The use of imaging ranged across hospitals from 56% to 97%. There was 91% agreement between imaging and pathology report findings (92.3%-CT and 82.4%-US). The overall rate of NA was 6% (women-8%, men-4%). The prevalence of NA was 9.8% among patients having no imaging, 8.1% among those having an US, and 4.5% in those having a CT. Among patients with NA, CT/US was obtained in 75%; correct in 10% and incorrect or ambiguous in 65%. Higher rates of NA were correlated with lower rates of CT/US concordance (r = -0.57). There was no significant difference in rates of perforation between those with (17%) and without (15%) imaging (P = 0.2). There were significant increases in the use of CT/US and decreases in NA over the time period (P < 0.01). Conclusions: The prevalence of NA at SCOAP hospitals decreased significantly. Variation in NA between hospitals was linked closely to CT/US accuracy suggesting CT/US accuracy should be considered a measure of quality in the care of patients with presumed appendicitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)557-562
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Volume248
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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