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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 26(1); 2015 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2015;26(1): 29-37.
The Correlation between Stool Exams and Abdominal Computed Tomography (CT) Findings in the Patients with Acute Diarrhea Visiting Emergency Department (ED)
Minseok Ha, Chi Hwan Kwack, Jun Ho Kang, Kyu Hong Han, Jin Hong Min, Jung Soo Park, Suk Woo Lee, Hoon Kim
Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea. nichekh2000@chungbuk.ac.kr
Stool exams are a useful tool for the early presumptive diagnosis of infectious bacterial diarrhea in the Emergency Department (ED). CT scans are often used to increase the physician's level of certainty and to facilitate patient triage by identifying the source of pain in most patients with an acute abdomen in the ED. This study was designed to investigate the correlation between stool exams and abdominal CT in patients with acute diarrhea visiting the ED.
We conducted a retrospective study in the emergency department of a national university hospital from January 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013. The subjects consisted of 156 patients with acute diarrhea and abdominal pain who had stool exam results and abdominal CT findings. We divided the patients into three groups according to the stool exam results. Simultaneously, we evaluated their CT findings of the bowel and adjacent structures.
A total of 156 patients were enrolled. Frequency of abnormal CT findings showed statistically significant correlation with stool exams (p-value <0.001). Abnormal CT findings increased as WBCs and RBCs in stool increased (p-value <0.001).
The stool exam was a statistically significant predictive variable in indirectly determining the severity of acute diarrhea and it showed correlation with the frequency of abnormal CT findings. It is suggested that stool exams can be used as a susceptible marker for predicting the probability of severe infectious colitis, and for making an early decision regarding close medical attention.
Key words: Acute diarrhea, Stool WBC, Stool RBC, Abdominal computed tomography
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