Purpose: To determine if clinical characteristics of pregnant women are associated with the likelihood of ultrasound (US) visualization of the appendix in cases where there is a clinical suspicion of appendicitis. Materials and methods: A retrospective study of 471 pregnant patients with suspicion of appendicitis from 2009 to 2018 were studied. Patients underwent sonography of the appendix as their initial imaging study. The association of body mass index (BMI) and gestational age with sonographic visualization of the appendix was analyzed using logistic regression. Cut-off values were determined for BMI to predict visualization of the appendix. Results: The rate of visualization of the appendix on US was 16% (95% CI 12% to 19%). When stratified by trimester of pregnancy, rebound pain on compression US examination in the 1st trimester and BMI in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters were identified as predictors of US visualization. Applying BMI cut-off values rounded to the nearest whole number, 36, 30, and 26 in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimesters, non-visualization rates would be reduced by 16% (95% CI 10% to 25%), 35% (95% CI 29% to 42%), and 67% (95% CI 58% to 74%). Using BMI index cut-off values would reduce the number of primary US examinations by 35% (95% CI 30% to 39%) and increase the rate of visualization by 6% (95% CI 0.02% to 12%, P = 0.04). Conclusion: Using BMI cut-off values for determining the efficaciousness of US visualization of the appendix in pregnant women with suspicion of appendicitis could significantly reduce the non-visualization rate.
- Computed tomography
- Magnetic resonance imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging