Bottom line: HIDA scan has greater sensitivity and specificity than ultrasound and greater specificity than CT although data on CT scanning is scarce.
Summary: Acute Cholecystitis. In: DynaMed.
In the Diagnosis>Imaging Studies section, the following data is provided on diagnostic accuracy:
Kiewiet JJ, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of diagnostic performance of imaging in acute cholecystitis. Radiology. 2012 Sep;264(3):708-20. doi: 10.1148/radiol.12111561. Epub 2012 Jul 12. Systematic review of studies of varying quality. Compared to reference standard of surgery and/or clinical follow-up:
- Ultrasound (pooled from 26 studies, N=2847): sensitivity 81% and specificity 83%
- HIDA scan (pooled from 40 studies, N=4090): sensitivity 96% and specificity 90%
- Direct comparison ultrasound v. HIDA scan (11 studies, N=1199): sensitivity 80% for ultrasound v. 94% for HIDA scan; specificity 75% v. 89%
- CT scan one study, N=49: sensitivity 94% and specificity 59%