• Twenty-eight patients with sickle cell disease who presented with acute abdominal pain were evaluated with clinical laboratory, ultrasound, and biliary scintigraphic studies to determine their predictive capabilities for differentiating venoocclusive disease (sickle cell crisis) from acute biliary disease. Eleven patients were treated surgically and 17 medically. Gallstones were demonstrated in 25 (90%) of the patients studied by ultrasound, and biliary scans were abnormal in nine patients (32%). Abnormal laboratory and radiological studies (ultrasound, biliary scintigraphy) were not significantly different in the two groups and had a low positive predictive value for detection of acute biliary disease. Nevertheless, normal biliary scintigraphy had high negative predictive value in that, if normal, it gave assurance that the cystic duct was patent and unnecessary surgery could be obviated in this high-risk category of patients.
(Arch Intern Med 1987;147:1061-1062)