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Finding Waldo: Sonographic systematic approach to localize the appendix in children.

OBJECTIVES: To describe a systematic scanning approach using anatomical landmarks followed by an assessment of radiology trainees' ability to identify the normal appendix in healthy children.

METHODS: Uncontrolled pre and post study assessing radiology residents' sonographic skills in detecting the normal appendix in healthy children. Initial questionnaire for the trainees' demographics, perceptions and experiences in detecting the appendix with ultrasound in children followed by a precourse test on healthy volunteers. Hands-on training was conducted by describing a systematic sonographic approach to identify the appendix using anatomical landmarks, and then a postcourse test was carried out. The primary outcome was unprompted ability to identify the appendix. Subjective self-scoring of confidence was also recorded.

RESULTS: A three-hour hands-on workshop was conducted. Sixteen radiology trainees participated and were randomly distributed to four stations, each with different ultrasound machines and healthy volunteers. Fifteen had a precourse assessment, and 12 completed the postcourse assessment. Before the course, 3/15 (20%) identified the appendix, while 10/12 (83%) identified the appendix afterward. After the course, participants perceived finding the appendix easier than before. There was no statistically significant difference in the participants' perceived confidence in detecting the appendix.

CONCLUSIONS: With the described scanning technique, most of the participants were able to identify the normal appendix after receiving short hands-on training. This highlights the importance of targeted training of radiology trainees and nonradiologists.

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