Value of second opinion subspecialty radiology consultation in suspected abdominal medium vessel vasculitis Academic Article uri icon

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  • Purpose

    To perform a descriptive analysis of individuals with suspected Polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) referred for second opinion imaging consultation.


    A retrospective observational cohort study was performed at a single institution. A consecutive sample was performed of individuals who underwent a second opinion CT or MR angiography subspecialty radiologist consultation between January 2008 and September 2019 for suspected abdominal medium vessel vasculitis. Demographic, clinical, and imaging data were collected. Clinical and imaging findings were reported for PAN, small vessel vasculitis, and "non-vasculitis" groups. Agreement and diagnostic accuracy between final clinical and second opinion imaging diagnoses for PAN were determined. Two-tailed t-tests with a significant p-value < 0.05 were utilized.


    Of the 58 participants, 9 were clinically diagnosed with PAN, 11 with small vessel vasculitis (including lupus, IgA, and ANCA-associated vasculitis), and 38 with non-vasculitis diagnoses. The non-vasculitis group included 15 SAM, 3 FMD, and 1 SAM-FMD spectrum diagnoses. Higher C-reactive protein level (51 vs 17, p = 0.04) and superior mesenteric artery involvement (56% vs 21%, p = 0.04) were more common in PAN than non-vasculitis diagnoses, while arterial dissection (40% vs 0%, p = 0.02) and celiac vasculature involvement (53% vs 0%, p = 0.003) were more common in the non-vasculitis group. There was 88% agreement (51/58; Cohen's kappa 0.56); sensitivity was 67% [95%-confidence interval (CI) 30-93%] and specificity was 92% (95%-CI 80-98%).


    Isolated celiac artery involvement and arterial dissection were more common in non-inflammatory vasculopathies than PAN. Our findings highlight the need for multidisciplinary collaboration and awareness of the diverse findings of abdominal vasculopathies.

publication date

  • December 2021