A systematic review and meta-Analysis of diagnostic performance of MRI for evaluation of acute appendicitis

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OBJECTIVE. A meta-Analysis was performed to determine the accuracy of MRI in the diagnosis of acute appendicitis in the general population and in subsets of pregnant patients and children. MATERIALS AND METHODS. A systematic search of the PubMed and EMBASE databases for articles published through the end of October 2014 was performed to identify studies that used MRI to evaluate patients suspected of having acute appendicitis. Pooled data for sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were calculated. RESULTS. A total of 30 studies that comprised 2665 patients were reviewed. The sensitivity and specificity of MRI for the diagnosis of acute appendicitis are 96% (95% CI, 95-97%) and 96% (95% CI, 95-97%), respectively. In a subgroup of studies that focused solely on pregnant patients, the sensitivity and specificity of MRI were 94% (95% CI, 87-98%) and 97% (95% CI, 96-98%), respectively, whereas in studies that focused on children, sensitivity and specificity were found to be 96% (95% CI, 95-97%) and 96% (95% CI, 94-98%), respectively. CONCLUSION. MRI has a high accuracy for the diagnosis of acute appendicitis, for a wide range of patients, and may be acceptable for use as a first-line diagnostic test.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-517
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016



  • Appendicitis
  • Meta-Analysis
  • MRI
  • Sensitivity
  • Specificity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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