What is the role of abdominal CT scanning and MRI in the workup of bacterial sepsis?

Updated: Feb 05, 2019
  • Author: Amber Mahmood Bokhari, MBBS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Use computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the abdomen if a nonbiliary intra-abdominal source of infection is suspected on the basis of the history or physical examination findings. Abdominal CT or MRI is also helpful in delineating intrarenal and extrarenal pathology. Gallium or indium scanning has no place in the initial workup of sepsis; patients with sepsis are acutely ill by definition, and rapid diagnostic tests (eg, CT or MRI of the abdomen and ultrasonography of the right upper quadrant) are time-critical, life-saving tools. However, MRI is more time consuming than CT scanning, and the latter is preferred in emergent situations. [45]

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