Purpose. Radiology resident interpretation of computed tomographic (CT) scans at academic institutions often guides management of cases of suspected acute appendicitis in the emergency department. The purpose of this study was to compare resident and faculty interpretation of CT scans obtained for acute appendicitis. Materials and Methods. From December 16, 1999, to July 13, 2000, CT was performed in 103 consecutive patients between the hours of 9:00 PM and 8:00 AM who were suspected of having acute appendicitis. The authors compared the residents' preliminary written interpretations with both the final reports written by the faculty and the surgical findings. The faculty interpreting the CT scans were aware of resident interpretations but were not aware that a study was being conducted. Results. The final faculty interpretation and the preliminary resident interpretation were identical in 96 of the 103 patients (93%; 95% confidence interval: 87.8%, 97.2%). In only one patient was a scan originally interpreted as negative interpreted as positive by the faculty member. Clinically, the patient did not have acute appendicitis, and surgery was not performed. Conclusion. In the diagnosis of acute appendicitis, image interpretations made by adequately trained radiology residents can be expected to closely match those of the radiology faculty, and the practice of after-hours interpretation of such studies by radiology residents is safe.
- Appendix, CT
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging