Handheld device review of abdominal CT for the evaluation of acute appendicitis

J Digit Imaging. 2012 Aug;25(4):492-6. doi: 10.1007/s10278-011-9431-9.


Advances in handheld computing now allow review of DICOM datasets from remote locations. As the diagnostic ability of this tool is unproven, we evaluated the ability to diagnose acute appendicitis on abdominal CT using a mobile DICOM viewer. This HIPAA compliant study was IRB-approved. Twenty-five abdominal CT studies from patients with RLQ pain were interpreted on a handheld device (iPhone) using a DICOM viewer (OsiriX mobile) by five radiologists. All patients had surgical confirmation of acute appendicitis or follow-up confirming no acute appendicitis. Studies were evaluated for the ability to find the appendix, maximum appendiceal diameter, presence of an appendicolith, periappendiceal stranding and fluid, abscess, and an assessment of the diagnosis of acute appendicitis. Results were compared to PACS workstation. Fifteen cases of acute appendicitis were correctly identified on 98% of interpretations, with no false-positives. Eight appendicoliths were correctly identified on 88% of interpretations. Three abscesses were correctly identified by all readers. Handheld device measurement of appendiceal diameter had a mean 8.6% larger than PACS measurements (p = 0.035). Evaluation for acute appendicitis on abdominal CT studies using a portable device DICOM viewer can be performed with good concordance to reads performed on PACS workstations.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Abscess / complications
  • Abdominal Abscess / diagnostic imaging
  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Appendicitis / complications
  • Appendicitis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Appendix / diagnostic imaging
  • Computers, Handheld*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography, Abdominal / methods*
  • Radiology Information Systems / instrumentation*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Teleradiology / instrumentation*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / instrumentation*
  • Young Adult