Multiple imaging modalities are often required for the relapsing nature of Crohn disease (CD). Computed tomography (CT) offers a rapid acquisition of images and shows high specificity and sensitivity. However, CT imaging exposes to a higher dose of ionizing radiation than other abdominal imaging modalities. The aim of this study was to compare the use of preoperative and postoperative CT scan in patients undergoing emergency and elective surgery for CD.
All patients undergoing emergency and elective surgery for ileocaecal CD January 2014 to December 2018 were included in this prospective observational study. The study objective was to evaluate the frequency of use of CT scan perioperatively with the number and findings of preoperative and postoperative CT being the primary outcomes. The secondary outcomes were operating time, length of hospital stay, reoperations, and rehospitalization.
A total of 75 patients were included, 33 in the emergency group (43%) and 44 in the elective group (57%). There was a higher use of preoperative CT scan in the emergency surgery group, with 14 patients (42%) having a CT scan before surgery compared with 2 (5%) in the elective group (P=0.14). Thirteen patients (39.4%) had a postoperative CT scan in the emergency surgery group, compared with 10 patients (23.8%) in the elective surgery group.
Patients undergoing emergency surgery for CD are at increased risk of exposure to ionizing radiations due to high perioperative use of CT scan.