On September 28 Dr. Suzanne Bentley presented the abstract:

Ultrasound evaluation for appendicitis in children: Can we safely reduce CT scan utilization?

Bentley S, Nelson BP, Zahn L

at ACEP in Las Vegas. Data on using ultrasound as a first-line diagnostic modality (instead of CT scan) were discussed, with implications for diagnostic accuracy, radiation exposure, and length of stay. This was abstract #001, which carries no more prestige than #998 but we will be proud anyway.

A great deal of attention has recently focused on radiation exposure risks, and many organizations have allied to reduce necessary imaging. The Image Gently Alliance for example boasts dozens of member organizations and has done a great deal to educate providers about the risks of ionizing radiation in imaging. A brief article on the study was published by Reuters Health:

For pediatric appendicitis, ultrasound cuts radiation, saves time over CAT scans (subscription only)

Emergency Medicine has advocated the use of ultrasound for quite some time. As point-of-care ultrasound as well as radiology department ultrasound gain ground we hope to make informed diagnostic decisions while minimizing risks.