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Screening of Illegal Intracorporeal Containers ("Body Packing"): Is Abdominal Radiography Sufficiently Accurate? A Comparative Study with Low-Dose CT

Poletti, P. A. and Canel, L. and Becker, C. D. and Wolff, H. and Elger, B. and Lock, E. and Sarasin, F. and Bonfanti, M. S. and Dupuis-Lozeron, E. and Perneger, T. and Platon, A.. (2012) Screening of Illegal Intracorporeal Containers ("Body Packing"): Is Abdominal Radiography Sufficiently Accurate? A Comparative Study with Low-Dose CT. Radiology, 265 (3). pp. 772-779.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6070496

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Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate the diagnostic performance of abdominal radiography in the detection of illegal intracorporeal containers (hereafter, packets), with low-dose computed tomography (CT) as the reference standard. Materials and Methods: This study was approved by the institutional ethical review board, with written informed consent. From July 2007 to July 2010, 330 people (296 men, 34 women; mean age, 32 years [range, 18-55 years]) suspected of having ingested drug packets underwent supine abdominal radiography and low-dose CT. The presence or absence of packets at abdominal radiography was reported, with low-dose CT as the reference standard. The density and number of packets (≤12 or <12) at low-dose CT were recorded and analyzed to determine whether those variables influence interpretation of results at abdominal radiography. Results: Packets were detected at low-dose CT in 53 (16%) suspects. Sensitivity of abdominal radiography for depiction of packets was 0.77 (41 of 53), and specificity was 0.96 (267 of 277). The packets appeared isoattenuated to the bowel contents at low-dose CT in 16 (30%) of the 53 suspects with positive results. Nineteen (36%) of the 53 suspects with positive low-dose CT results had fewer than 12 packets. Packets that were isoattenuated at low-dose CT and a low number of packets (≤12) were both significantly associated with false-negative results at abdominal radiography (P = .004 and P = .016, respectively). Conclusion: Abdominal radiography is mainly limited by low sensitivity when compared with low-dose CT in the screening of people suspected of carrying drug packets. Low-dose CT is an effective imaging alternative to abdominal radiography.
Faculties and Departments:08 Cross-disciplinary Subjects > Ethik > Institut für Bio- und Medizinethik > Bio- und Medizinethik (Elger)
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Public Health > Ethik in der Medizin > Bio- und Medizinethik (Elger)
UniBasel Contributors:Elger, Bernice Simone
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:The Radiological Society of North America
ISSN:0033-8419
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
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Last Modified:15 Nov 2017 06:03
Deposited On:21 Jun 2013 12:28

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