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Evidence-Based Imaging of the Acute Abdomen: Where Is the Evidence?

  • Ania Z. Kielar
  • Cynthia B. Walsh
  • Matthew D. F. McInnes
Chapter

Abstract

Emergency radiology is still considered an emerging subspecialty compared to more established areas such as neuroradiology and abdominal-pelvic imaging. Although this suggests that less time has passed to allow dedicated research in imaging associated with emergency medicine, it also implies that there are opportunities for study in this field in the future.

In this introductory chapter, we emphasize the importance of evidence-based medicine in radiology and then specifically in the setting of an acute abdomen. Tools available for designing and reporting research are introduced: This includes QUADAS-2 (Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies), STARD (Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy), and PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) [1, 2]. We also expand on commonly accessed information currently used to help guide radiologists in diagnosis and decision making with regard to acute abdominal and pelvic conditions.

Perceived barriers to research in emergency radiology are reviewed. Tips and specific tools to implement when designing an emergency radiology research study are provided; this information may also be useful when critically appraising published literature. Finally, an overview of emerging research opportunities and innovative areas in emergency radiology research is introduced, with focus on acute abdominal conditions, all of which will be covered in more detail in subsequent chapters of this textbook.

Keywords

Evidence-based medicine Levels of evidence Cross-sectional imaging Abdominal imaging Emergency radiology 

Abbreviations

ACR

American College of Radiology

ALARA

As low as reasonably achievable

CT

Computed tomography

ED

Emergency department

EPs

Emergency physicians

LLQ

Left lower quadrant

LUQ

Left upper quadrant

MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging

NPV

Negative predictive value

PICO

Patient, intervention, comparison, outcome

PPV

Positive predictive value

PRISMA

Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses

QUADAS 2

Quality assessment of diagnostic accuracy studies

RLQ

Right lower quadrant

RUQ

Right upper quadrant

SAR

Specific absorption rate

STARD

Standards for reporting of diagnostic accuracy

US

Ultrasound

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ania Z. Kielar
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Cynthia B. Walsh
    • 1
    • 2
  • Matthew D. F. McInnes
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medical ImagingThe Ottawa HospitalOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Department of Radiology OttawaUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Ottawa Hospital Research InstituteOttawaCanada
  4. 4.Department of ImagingUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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