Due to the relatively poor predictive value associated with clinical and laboratory data, imaging tests are often employed as a diagnostic adjunct for children with suspected appendicitis.
Ultrasound - Abdominal ultrasound is relatively inexpensive in comparison to CT and MRI, and requires no sedation, ionizing radiation, or contrast agents. Its sensitivity and specificity is 88% and 94%, respectively and varies depending on the experience of the ultrasonologist.
CT scan is very reliable, but exposure to ionizing radiation is a concern. Targeted CT imaging limited to the regions below the lower pole of the right kidney can significantly reduce radiation exposure without compromising its accuracy
MRI - The role of MRI in the diagnosis of appendicitis is still evolving. Its accuracy is better than ultrasound and almost similar to that of CT scan. Also there is no radiation exposure but cost and availability is a limitation.
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