African Journal of Paediatric Surgery

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Correlation of radiological investigations with clinical findings in cases of abdominal mass in the paediatric age group

N Sharma, V Dutt, M Sharma


Background: The aim of the following study is to find out the accuracy of clinical examination and radiological investigations in determining the organ of origin and diagnosis in cases of abdominal mass.

Patients and Methods: This prospective study included patients presenting with a palpable abdominal mass. Complete detailed history and clinical examination were done prior to any investigation to find out the possible
clinical diagnosis and determine the organ of origin. Radiological investigations were done by blinded senior radiologist to form a radiological diagnosis and determine the organ of origin. Final diagnosis was used to see the accuracy of both the pre-operative modalities.

Results: There were 50 cases which formed the study group. Male to female ratio was 2:1. Prepubescent age was the most common age group at presentation. Right hypochondrium was the most commonly affected quadrant (18%). Most of these masses were hepatobiliary in origin. The
overall accuracy of ultrasound with respect to the final diagnosis was 45/50 (90%). Ultrasonography findings correlated with a clinical diagnosis in 91% of those who were operated and in 88% in those confirmed by biopsy or other modalities. Radiological investigations in total had accuracy of 94%, which was similar to the clinical examination. Both radiological diagnosis
and clinical diagnosis were correct in 47/50 (94%) cases.

Conclusions: Most of the cases of abdominal mass can be well evaluated clinically in terms of the diagnosis and organ of origin. Both radiological investigation and a good clinical examination have equal sensitivity. Radiological investigations are thus only adjuvant to a good clinical  examination. Original Article

Key words: Abdominal mass, accuracy, clinical examination, radiological investigations, ultrasonography
AJOL African Journals Online