The Utility of Hepatobiliary Scintigraphy Scans in the Tokyo Guidelines Era for Acute Cholecystitis

Gustavo Romero-Velez, Xavier Pereira, Cosman Camilo Mandujano, Michael K. Parides, Peter Muscarella, W. Scott Melvin, Charito Love, John C. McAuliffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Hepatobiliary Scintigraphy (HIDA) aids the diagnosis of acute cholecystitis (AC) but has limitations. We sought to design a model based on the Tokyo Guidelines 2018 (TG18) to predict HIDA results. Methods: A retrospective review of patients who underwent a HIDA scan during the evaluation of AC was performed. Using logistic regression techniques incorporating the TG18 criterion and additional readily available patient characteristics, a prediction model was created to identify patients likely to test negative for acute cholecystitis by HIDA scan. Results: In 235 patients with suspected AC, a HIDA scan was performed. Variables associated with positive HIDA results were male gender (RR 2.0 (CI 1.33-2.99), age (OR 1.02 (CI 1.01-1.04), right upper quadrant tenderness (RR 1.7 (CI 1.1-2.8)), clinical Murphy's sign (RR 2.2 (CI 1.5-3.4)), ultrasound findings suggestive of AC by any of its components (RR 3.2 (CI 1.6-6.5)), gallbladder wall thickening (RR 2.0 (CI 1.3-3.1)), and gallbladder distention (RR 1.9 (CI 1.3-2.9)). These variables allowed for creation of a model to predict HIDA results. The model predicted HIDA results in 36.9% of patients with an area under the curve of 0.81. Conclusions: In the era of TG18, HIDA is probably over utilized. We developed an accurate, simple model based on TG18 that identifies a group of patients for whom a HIDA scan is unnecessary to establish the diagnosis of AC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-672
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Acute cholecystitis
  • Cholecystitis
  • HIDA
  • Hepatobiliary scintigraphy
  • Tokyo guidelines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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