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Emergency Department Bedside Ultrasonography for Diagnosis of Acute Cholecystitis; a Diagnostic Accuracy Study

Babak Shekarchi, Seyed-Zia Hejripour-Rafsanjani, Nima Shekar-Riz-Fomani, Mojtaba Chahardoli




Introduction: Using bedside ultrasound in diagnosing acute cholecystitis in the emergency department (ED) can save time, help the decision making process and allocate resources wisely. This study aimed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of bedside right upper quadrant (RUQ) ultrasonography in detection of acute cholecystitis. Method: In this diagnostic accuracy study, patients presenting to ED, suffering from RUQ pain in favor of acute cholecystitis underwent RUQ ultrasonography in emergency and radiology departments and interrater agreement between reports was calculated. Results: 342 patients with the mean age of 53.92 ± 11.18 (20 – 83) years were studied (63.2% female). The number of patients with at least one sonographic finding of acute cholecystitis were 53 (15.50%) and 48 (14.00%) based on ED and radiology reports (Kappa = 0.826). Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, as well as positive and negative likelihood ratios of bedside sonography were 89.58 (95%CI: 76.55 – 96.10), 96.59 (95%CI: 93.63 – 98.29), 81.13 (95%CI: 67.58 – 90.11), 98.26 (95%CI: 95.77 – 99.36), 4.30 (95%CI: 2.42 – 7.62) and 0.017 (95%CI: 0.007 – 0.041), respectively. Conclusion: There was a very good agreement between ED and radiology departments’ sonography reports regarding the presence or absence of acute cholecystitis. Sensitivity and specificity of bedside RUQ sonography were 89.58 and 96.59, respectively.


Cholecystitis, acute; ultrasonography; diagnostic imaging; emergency service, hospital; emergency medicine


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22037/emergency.v6i1.19647


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