Generalist versus Abdominal Subspecialist Radiologist Interpretations of Abdominopelvic Computed Tomography Performed on Patients with Abdominal Pain and its Impact on the Therapeutic Approach

  • Hasan Yesilagac Department of Emergency Medicine, Baskent University, Adana Dr. Turgut Noyan Training and Research Center, Adana, Turkey https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1365-9256
  • Ilker Murat Arer Department of General Surgery, Baskent University, Adana Dr. Turgut Noyan Training and Research Center, Adana, Turkey https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9880-3570
  • Betul Gulalp Department of Emergency Medicine, Baskent University, Adana Dr. Turgut Noyan Training and Research Center, Adana, Turkey https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2045-2771
  • Hakan Yabanoglu Department of General Surgery, Baskent University, Adana Dr. Turgut Noyan Training and Research Center, Adana, Turkey https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1161-3369
  • Ozlem Karagun Department of Emergency Medicine, Baskent University, Adana Dr. Turgut Noyan Training and Research Center, Adana, Turkey https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0681-8375
  • Elif Karadeli Department of Radiology, Baskent University, Adana Dr. Turgut Noyan Training and Research Center, Adana, Turkey https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0352-8818
Keywords: Abdominal Pain, Emergency Service, Hospital, Radiologists, Tomography, X-Ray Computed

Abstract

Introduction: Abdominal pain is one of the most common patient complaints in the emergency department (ED) and abdominopelvic computed tomography (ACT) scan plays an important role in evaluation of these patients. Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the differences between interpretations by generalist radiologists and abdominal subspecialist radiologists regarding the abdominopelvic computed tomography (ACT) of patients who were admitted to the Emergency Department (ED) and to investigate its effect on the patients’ therapeutic approach. Methods: The records of 16452 patients who were admitted to the emergency department with complaint of abdominal pain between January 2015 and April 2017 were reviewed, retrospectively. Out of these patients, 245 (1.5%) underwent ACT for differential diagnosis and among them, 137 (0.8%) patients had their ACT reports evaluated by generalist radiologists in 45 minutes and by abdominal subspecialist radiologist 8–12 hours later and were included in the study. Patients were divided into three groups according to the effect of ACT reports on the performed treatment. Group 1: no effect on planned treatment, group 2: minor effect on planned treatment, which did not result in a change in the treatment process and group 3: major effect on planned treatment approach, which resulted in a change in the treatment process. These changes included at least one of the two criteria: changing the indication of surgery from emergency surgery to elective surgery and/or discharge of the patient from the ED, when actually hospitalization was required. Results: Out of the 137 patients, 87 (63.5%) were male, 50 (36.5%) were female and the patients’ mean age was 56 (27-93) years. There were 117 (85.4%) patients in group 1, 15 (10.9%) patients in group 2, and 5 (3.7%) patients in group 3. We determined minor inconsistency between the reports in group 2 and major inconsistency in group 3. Patients in group 3 suffered from delayed surgical intervention due to inconsistency of the CT reports resulting in prolonged hospital stay and increased morbidity. In 17 patients (four patients in Group 1 and 13 patients in Group 2) treatment plan was changed due to CT results; and while surgical treatment was planned for them prior to CT scan, they were discharged with medical treatment after that and overtreatment was prevented. Conclusion: Contribution of abdominal radiologists to evaluation of ACT images in the ED would reduce the inconsistency in ACT reports and prevent the patients from receiving insufficient treatment or overtreatment.

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References

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Published
2020-01-30
How to Cite
Yesilagac, H., Arer, I., Gulalp, B., Yabanoglu, H., Karagun, O., & Karadeli, E. (2020). Generalist versus Abdominal Subspecialist Radiologist Interpretations of Abdominopelvic Computed Tomography Performed on Patients with Abdominal Pain and its Impact on the Therapeutic Approach. Advanced Journal of Emergency Medicine, 4(2), e21. https://doi.org/10.22114/ajem.v0i0.288
Section
Original article