computed tomography signs

Last reviewed 01/2018

CT has not been widely accepted as a medium for investigation of appendicitis. Disadvantages include:

  • expense
  • time-consuming
  • sensitivity and specificity not greater than 80%
  • necessity for oral contrast media to produce adequate scan

Signs of appendicitis on a CT scan include:

  • thickened appendiceal wall
  • increased density of fat around caecum
  • faecoliths in appendix
  • abscess confined to wall of appendix

CT may find a niche in patients with an atypical history of right lower quadrant pain where provisional investigations have been equivocal.