Ulster Med J 2020 Jan 18;89(1):25-28. Epub 2020 Feb 18.
Department of Radiology, Wrexham Maelor Hospital, Wrexham, UK.
Introduction: Acute appendicitis is a common surgical emergency, with a prevalence of 112 per 100,000 people per year in Europe. Negative appendicectomy is defined as a pathologically normal appendix removed from patient suspected with appendicitis. Negative appendectomy rate (NAR) has been reported to be around 15-25%. We aimed to evaluate our unit's negative appendectomy rate and the effect of pre-operative imaging on NAR.
Method: A retrospective study including all patients who underwent both open and laparoscopic emergency appendicectomy in a single district general hospital from 2017-2018. Clinical information including cost was calculated based on the 2017/18 national tariff payment system. Patients under 18 years old were excluded from this study.
Results: Two hundred thirty-two patients were included in this study, of which 69 (29.74%) had a pre-operative CT scan. The mean length of stay was 2.57 days. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value for CT were 77.8%, 100%, 87.5% and 100%. The negative appendicectomy rate with and without pre-operative CT scan were 7.25% and 22.09% respectively. Based on the 2017/18 national tariff payment system, a CT abdomen and pelvis with contrast and emergency appendicectomy with CC score of 0 cost 92 and 2370 pounds respectively. The total cost of patients who underwent appendicectomy without imaging was £ 322,320. If all patients undergo pre-operative CT, with a reduction of 15% in negative appendicectomy rate, the overall total cost would significantly lower to £ 36,212.
Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that the negative appendicectomy rate could be improved by preoperative imaging. The study also showed that implementation of preoperative imaging for suspected appendicitis cases could save costs, allowing better allocation of resources.